HA NOI — Close co-ordination between the Government and the Farmers' Union would be key to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of farmers, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told the Standing Committee of the Union at a meeting in the capital city yesterday.
Dung said achievements gained in the agricultural industry in recent years, particularly in 2011, were important contributions to the success of the nation.
He was full of praise for the farmers' efforts to overcome many challenges in order to make agriculture a spotlight in the nation's economic growth.
However, some farmers were still facing many difficulties, he said. Infrastructure in many rural areas was underdeveloped and farmers were short on information and orientations about production while the rural environment was deteriorating.
"Many difficulties and challenges remain ahead of us in 2012. Yet, we're determined to put inflation under control, stabilise the macro economy, maintain a rational growth rate while ensuring social security and employment for working people," Dung said.
In this spirit, the PM asked the Viet Nam Farmers' Union to co-operate closely with Government agencies and localities to ensure that the 2012 socio-economic targets and those set for the following years would be achieved.
He said agricultural development must gear toward high productivity, quality, efficiency and competitiveness of agricultural commodities.
"These are important factors for our food security and the sustainable development of our nation," Dung said.
He also asked the union to focus efforts on implementing the national programme of building new rural areas and to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor among regions and localities.
"One of the important tasks in the co-ordination between the Government and the Union is the work of poverty alleviation and narrowing the gap between rich and poor people, particularly in areas inhabited by ethnic minorities, said Dung.
President of the Viet Nam Farmers' Union, Nguyen Quoc Cuong, told the PM that the union had its organisations spread down to the lowest administrative unit at the hamlet level.
On average, the union organised skills training for about 200,000 farmers, helped between 43,000-45,000 people find jobs and sent more than 4,000 people to work abroad as guest workers annually, he said.
Through various programmes launched by the union, more than three million of its members had gained the title "role model" in production and business, he said. Every year, about eight million households were awarded with the title "cultural family."
At the meeting, members of the Farmers' Union Standing Committee asked the Government to consider a policy that would allow farmers to qualify for a retirement pension or other benefits from the Viet Nam Social Security. — VNS