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New rural areas a top priority: PM

Update: January, 24/2015 - 09:26
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HA NOI  (VNS) — Developing rural areas was one of the Government's highest priorities, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told an online conference on Thursday.

Nearly 3,000 rural communes satisfied 10 categories in the New Rural Development Standard and 785 communes satisfied 17 categories, according to a MARD report.

Introduced by the Government in 2010, the standard includes 19 categories, such as infrastructure development, production capacity, public facilities, environmental protection and promotion of local traditions and cultural identities. However, a number of challenges must be overcome to ensure its successful implementation, the PM said.

Deputy Chairman of the Ha Noi People's Committee Tran Xuan Viet said the city's farmers were having difficulty finding financial support to improve their production capacity.

"The average farmer's only possession is the small piece of land he or she lives on, which is worth at most a few hundred million dong. There is no way for them to secure a loan to expand production," Viet said, urging commercial banks to support farmers' development projects and relax their collateral management policy.

Representatives from the provinces of Thanh Hoa and Quang Tri said there should be more incentive programmes to encourage the business sector, which can provide farmers with both funding and technology, to get involved in rural development.

Rural communities' low level of awareness, especially in isolated areas, was also an obstacle, said Tran Thanh Nam, deputy minister from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), in a conference last week co-organised by MARD and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Other difficulties included the lack of optimal production models to sustain livelihoods in rural communities, implementation of science and technology and environmental degradation.

In the 2016-20 period, restructuring the nation's agricultural system was of vital importance in the development of rural areas, as was raising awareness about the programme, said Do Anh Tuan, deputy head of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Tuan said rural communities must actively search for local industrial potential and successful development models, both in the nation and in foreign countries.

The PM ordered financial institutes to assist farmers, especially those in the poor household category, to secure funding to improve production capacity.

In addition, the Government will issue incentive policies to support businesses investing in rural development programmes. — VNS

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