|The Trà Sư Sluice in Tịnh Biên District is one of An Giang Province’s major flood regulating facilities. The province has invested in a lot of infrastructure in its quest to develop new style rural areas. – VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Sinh
AN GIANG – The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of An Giang has stepped up measures to build new-style rural areas to improve people’s incomes.
It plans to have eight communes recognised as new-style rural communes this year under a national programme and eight others as advanced new-style rural communes.
A commune must meet 19 criteria related to planning, infrastructure, transport, irrigation, power supply, environment, income, education, healthcare, social security, culture, and others to achieve recognition as a new-style rural commune.
An advanced new-style rural commune must achieve higher standards across all 19 and have a per capita income of VNĐ58 million (US$2,500).
The province aims to have a total of 93 new-style rural communes, or 80.2 per cent of the total, by 2025.
It targets increasing the average annual rural income to VNĐ53 million (US$2,300) this year.
Phạm Thái Bình, deputy head of the province’s coordination office for new-style rural areas, said to hit the targets, advocacy activities would be strengthened to disseminate information about the national programme.
Individuals and organisations making significant contributions to the programme would be publicly commended, he said.
“By building new-style rural areas, the province will boost agricultural production and improve incomes of rural people. It will focus on developing organic, clean and hi-tech agriculture, and develop both agriculture and processing.”
The province will help develop linkages between various stakeholders in agriculture and create favourable conditions for companies to invest in the sector, he said.
Farmers make up more than 70 per cent of its population.
The local Farmers Association has taken various measures to help build new-style rural areas, including encouraging its members to donate land and labour to build rural roads, bridges, schools, and other infrastructure.
In 2019-21 more than 1,000 farmers donated 805,000sq.m of land for roads, 760,000 days of labour and more than VNĐ300 billion ($12.8 million).
The association, with members’ contributions, has helped repair and rebuild 264 dilapidated houses for needy farmers.
It has instructed farmers in a number of effective farming models and helped them restructure agriculture to improve incomes.
An Giang had 68 of its 116 communes recognised as new style rural communes and 27 as advanced new style rural communes as of last year.
Some 90 per cent of its communes were unable to meet even five of the 19 criteria when the programme began more than a decade ago, but it now has Châu Đốc and Long Xuyên cities and Thoại Sơn District recognised as new style rural areas.
It targets getting recognition for Chợ Mới and Châu Thành districts and Tân Châu Town by 2025.
For instance, 13 of Chợ Mới’s 16 communes are new style rural communes, and it plans to get the remaining three recognised this year. – VNS