|Farmers plant vegettable in Tan Thong Hoi Commune, Cu Chi District, HCM City. Cu Chi has become the first district in HCM City to fulfil all 19 criteria in the Government's New Rural Area Programme. — Photo sggp.org.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — Cu Chi has become the first district in HCM City to fulfil all 19 criteria in the Government's New Rural Area Programme.
After six years implementing the programme, the outlying district's all 20 communes have achieved the programme's criteria on infrastructure, environmental protection, housing, social security, residents' livelihoods, culture and others.
The average income of residents, mostly farmers, has increased from VND19 million (US$900) a year in 2010 to VND40.5 million ($1,900) this year.
The district's agricultural production has an income value of VND285 million ($13,500) per hectare a year, double compared to five years ago.
Cu Chi has invested more than VND17.4 trillion ($828 million) to implement the programme. The capital came from the State budget, companies and local residents.
More than 6,200 households have donated a total of nearly 750,000 sq.m of land worth VND355 billion ($16.9 million) to build roads.
Speaking at a ceremony to announce the Prime Minister's decision on recognising the district's accomplishments held on Wednesday, Nguyen Huu Hoai Phu, chairman of the district's People's Committee, said Cu Chi would focus on developing plants and animals that have high value and ensure sustainable environmental protection.
The district will develop dairy cows and turn areas unsuited to rice cultivation into clean vegetable and orchid cultivation areas, he said.
Under the programme, nearly 2,000ha of rice fields in the district have been converted into vegetable, flowers and grass fields for cow food.
Farmers who grow orchids can earn an income of VND800 million ($38,000) per ha a year.
In implementing the programme, Cu Chi has shifted from a focus on farming to industrial, services and trade activities.
The district has 10 industrial parks and industrial park clusters, providing jobs for 50,000 people, about one-fourth of the district's population.
Vo Van Thuong, deputy secretary of the city Standing Party Committee, said the programme had improved the lives of people in rural areas.
The programme has also narrowed the income gap between the city's urban and rural areas.
Cu Chi targets raising per capita income to VND60 million ($2,800) by 2020. — VNS