|A household in Thach Chau Commune, Ha Tinh Province, has been trained by local authorities to cultivate mushrooms. — VNA/VNS Photo Ha Thai
HA NOI (VNS)— Application of science and technology is vital to boost agriculture, emphasised National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung at a meeting held yesterday.
The meeting was conducted to review the five-year implementation of the Party Central Committee's Resolution 7 on agriculture, farmers, and rural development.
Hung is also the chairman of the committee to implement the resolution.
Presenting a report at the meeting, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat stated that the GDP between 2009 and 2013, in the field of agriculture, forestry, and aquaculture, has annually averaged 2.9 per cent.
In 2012, agriculture contributed an estimated US$27.5 billion in export revenues to the economy.
Regardless of this achievement, the sector is at its turning point to improve its competitive level, coupled with issues such as alarming food safety, low-quality agricultural products, human resource shortage, stagnant restructuring process, and a widening income gap between the rural and urban areas.
"One of the most notable results of implementing Resolution 7 is the rapid decline in the number of poor households, and by the end of 2013, the percentage of poor households in rural areas has reached 12.6 per cent. Farmers also average an annual income of nearly VND20 million ($952)," Phat added.
However, Minister Phat admitted that some localities are not proactive in mobilising resources to build new rural areas and simply wait for state and provincial funding. Farmers are also struggling to earn a sustainable livelihood through rice cultivation.
Chairman Hung also emphasized the need for localities to incorporate agriculture in their developmental strategies and should encourage the application of science and technology and the use of machinery in order to boost agricultural production.
He urged that the agricultural development needs to be integrated with sustainable poverty reduction and farmers need to play a vital role in building new rural areas.
Nguyen Quoc Cuong, chairman of the Viet Nam Farmers' Association, also agreed that farmers and rural residents lead difficult lives and are constantly coping with inept management in key areas like fertilizers, pesticides, dwindling land use, and access to funding resources. — VNS