|Canals and roads are built for agricultural production in central Ha Tinh Province. After five years of implementing Resolution 26 on agriculture, the development of rural areas has been linked to improvements in food security and poverty reduction. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HA NOI (VNS)— National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung yesterday called for major improvements to the living conditions of farmers saying this was key to ensuring rural development and national industrialisation.
Hung, who also chairs the steering committee overseeing implementation of the Party Central Committee's Resolution 26 on agriculture and rural development, said at a meeting that industralisation of rural areas and training for rural workers were measures needed to ensure the nation's long-term interests.
The meeting was held to discuss the steering committee's draft report on results obtained in implementating Resolution 26.
After five years of implementing the resolution, the agricultural sector has continued to develop comprehensively, contributing to national food security and poverty alleviation, the draft report says.
It notes that the GDP contribution of agriculture, forestry and aquaculture has averaged 2.9 per cent per year during the 2009-2013 period.
In 2012, agriculture contributed an estimated US$27.5 billion in export revenues to the economy, the report says.
However, the report also highlights the sector's shortcomings, including declining pace of development, low competitiveness, low productivity and low value of some farm produce.
It also mentions the widening gap between the rural and urban areas saying this needs to be addressed urgently.
Hung said that the development of agriculture and rural areas was a strategic task for nation-building in the coming years.
He noted that lessons learnt in implementing Resolution 26 showed that success depends on putting the interests of the farmer at the heart of building new rural areas in the country.
At the meeting, many participants expressed the opinion that five years of implementing the Party resolution on agriculture showed that there was a need to change the criteria for building new rural areas. They also said existing credit policies supporting agriculture and vocational training for rural workers need to be reviewed in order to make them more effective in the coming years.
Nguyen Quoc Cuong, President of the Viet Nam Farmers' Association, proposed that the agriculture growth rate be increased to between 3 and 3.5 per cent. He also called for specific policies for farmers that will improve their living conditions and prevent them from giving up rice cultivation. — VNS