|The programme on building new-style rural areas has helped to improve the face of Thái Bình Commune in northern mountainous Tuyên Quang Province. — VNA/VNS Photo|
Director of the Vietnam National University of Agriculture Nguyễn Thị Lan talks to Kinh tế & Đô thị (Economic & Urban Affairs) online newspaper about measures to boost the effectiveness of the national target programme to build new-style rural areas during the 2021-25 period.
What are the achievements of building new-style rural areas across the nation?
Over the past 10 years, the national target programme on building new-style rural areas gained encouraging results. It has helped to change the face of rural areas across the nation and raise awareness of building a new lifestyle in these areas.
Many areas have innovated new ideas to expand construction. The rural economy gained more attention and was further developed while the income of farmers kept increasing. Both the material and spiritual life of farmers has gradually improved.
In the current context of COVID-19, is it true that the development issue relating to agriculture, farmers and rural areas has had a more important meaning?
Yes. It will not only help to stabilise the lives of the majority of people in rural areas but also be a foundation for sustainable socio-economic development and political stability as well as ensuring national defence and security. It will also help to maintain and promote the national cultural characteristics and protect the environment.
In the difficult context of natural disasters and pandemics, particularly COVID-19, the Government and ministries, agencies and localities have paid more attention and prioritised the development of agriculture and rural areas. The National Assembly has approved the investment policy for the national target programme on building new-style rural areas during the 2021-25 period. This is a good policy that demonstrated the Party, Government and National Assembly’s attention to this vulnerable sector.
Resources for building new-style rural areas remain a problem in any period. How will it be dealt with?
Building new-style rural areas is an important programme that will help to support and promote the development of agriculture, farmers and rural areas. This sector accounts for a large number of the population but is vulnerable so it needs attention.
The Government needs to earmark enough capital from the State budget and have active solutions to mobilise capital resources to fulfil the target of VNĐ2.45 quadrillion for the programme as proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
It is also necessary to have support packaged for this sector during COVID-19 to help people recover and develop the economy.
Apart from financial resources, which policies and mechanisms are needed to effectively fulfil targets in the future?
Government, ministries, agencies and localities need to decentralise and supervise the implementation of the programme.
More attention should be paid to developing the rural economy and improving the living quality of farmers, not only focusing on increasing agricultural production scale and output.
They should also focus on developing high-quality human resources in rural areas. It is essential to build more flexible, effective and practical vocational training programmes to equip both authorities and farmers with appropriate knowledge and skills to apply in production and building new-style rural areas.
The Government and ministries also need to study and reform related policies, particularly policies relating to land and environment issues.
It is also needed to continue supporting and mobilising the participation of businesses and scientific research agencies in boosting the construction of new-style rural areas.
The capital city of Hà Nội has issued and actively implemented a programme on effectively carrying out the national target programme on building new-style rural areas. Do you have any recommendations to help the city effectively implement the programme?
In the next five years, apart from focusing on producing advantageous products to supply to the market, ensure food security and eradicate poverty and reduce hunger, Hà Nội should also plan and develop rural areas towards urbanisation and environmental-friendly orientation in harmonisation with socio-economic space and structure as well as the nature.
Hà Nội should focus on developing agricultural products by applying hi-end technology, promoting agricultural product value chains in line with market demand and enhancing the connection between the State, scientists, farmers and businesses in product research, production and consumption.
It is also necessary to study solutions to handle environmental pollution in both urban and rural areas. — VNS