Association helps encourage farmers to develop

September, 05/2022 - 09:33
Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnam Farmers' Association Bùi Thị Thơm talks to Vietnam News Agency about the role of farmers in building new-style rural areas and agricultural development
Tea cooperative Phú Thịnh in Phú Thọ Township, northern Việt Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Sinh

Vice Chairwoman of the Việt Nam Farmers' Association Bùi Thị Thơm talks to Vietnam News Agency about the role of the association in encouraging farmers in building new-style rural areas and agricultural development

The implementation of the national target programme on building new style rural areas, with the effort and coordination of the whole political system, social forces and people across the country, has gained outstanding achievements after 10 years. What is the role of the Việt Nam Farmers' Association in building new-style rural areas?

The association identifies that it plays a key role in the building of new-style rural areas and in farmers movements and has encouraged farmers to participate in such activities.

The association's branches at all levels have actively disseminated information to help raise farmers' awareness of the meaning and importance of the movements and mobilised their members to contribute effort, finance and land to build public welfare projects as well as protect the surrounding environment.

The association has implemented many programmes to support farmers to develop the economy, improve production and businesses, increase incomes, reduce poverty and improve their living conditions.

It has also proactively participated in supervising the implementation of policies in building new-style rural areas.

How do you assess the changes of the agricultural economy over the past years and the potential of the agricultural sector of Việt Nam?

It can be confirmed that the agricultural economy has undergone great changes over the past years with impressive numbers. From 2008, when Resolution No 26 of the Party Central Committee regarding agriculture, farmers and rural areas was issued, to 2020, the GDP growth rate of the agricultural sector increased 2.94 per cent per year. Exports of farm produce also increased remarkably. In 2020 and 2021, despite the impact of COVID-19, export turnover reached US$41.5 billion and $46.8 billion, respectively. In the first seven months of the year, the figure was $32.3 billion, a year-on-year increase of 12 per cent.

However, there remain limitations in agricultural production. Agricultural development lacks sustainability and the growth rate has a tendency to decline. Increasing prices of materials in recent years caused low incomes for farmers. The urbanisation and industrialisation process has also affected agriculture.

Việt Nam has huge development potential for this sector. The country has more than 27 million hectares of agricultural land, accounting for more than 80 per cent of total natural area. Together with advantages relating to land and climate, the country's diversified terrain is another strength that helps create a wide variety of types of agricultural products.

Another pivotal factor is that farmers are hardworking, creative and dynamic. They are willing to innovate and try hard to escape poverty and have a lot of experience in agricultural production.

All of these strengths have helped the agricultural sector of Việt Nam develop.

Vice Chairwoman of the Việt Nam Farmers' Association Bùi Thị Thơm. — VNA/VNS Photo

Resolution No. 19 sets a high target for agricultural and rural development. What are the specific missions of the Việt Nam Farmers' Association in the future?

We always try to effectively implement our functions and missions, including seven key groups of measures as follows:

First, increasing information dissemination and education to help farmers better understand Party resolutions and State policies and laws relating to agriculture, farmers and rural areas, particularly requirements set during the current context.

Second, equipping farmers with knowledge and skills via training courses to help improve their capacity. As farmers master knowledge, they can decide their own path.

Third, effectively organising consultancy services, vocational training, support activities and generating jobs for farmers.

Fourth, taking care and protecting the legitimate rights and interests of farmers as well as promoting the association's role as a bridge connecting the Party with farmers.

Fifth, promoting international cooperation and diplomatic activities to exploit different resources to support farmers to develop the economy and build new-style rural areas.

Sixth, building the association strongly and mobilising more farmers to join the association, speeding up the establishment of professional associations and continuously renewing activities with the rights and benefits of farmers being taken as the purpose of the association's operation.

Last but not least, consulting and coordinating with authorities at all levels, businesses, agencies and associations to create mechanisms and exploit resources and finance to create conditions for the association to fulfil its missions.

With its role to protect the rights and interests of farmers, does the association have any recommendations to help improve this task?

There are four main points that we would like to recommend.

First, the association proposes the Party build a thematic resolution to develop the Vietnam Farmers' Association and the Vietnamese peasant class in the period of industrialisation, modernisation and international integration.

Second, the Government should create mechanisms, policies and financial sources to help the association's branches to carry out their missions - which are to protect the legitimate rights and interests of farmers and take care of their material and spiritual life.

The association also proposes the Government direct relevant ministries, agencies and authorities to coordinate and create conditions for the association's branches at all levels to implement or jointly implement programmes and projects about socio-economic development, environmental protection as well as security and national defence in each locality.

The Government is also advised to create mechanisms relating to resources and finance to help the association carry out support activities for farmers such as improving farmers' knowledge and organise vocational training to help improve their capacity and skills.

Last, I want to reconfirm that only when farmers have knowledge that they are capable of deciding what they should do to improve their living conditions and contribute to the country's development. — VNS