The number of agricultural households has decreased gradually in HCM City, according to a recent report on results of the Rural, Agricultural and Fishery Census conducted by the General Statistics Office.— Photo sggp.org.vn
HCM CITY — The number of agricultural households has decreased gradually in HCM City, according to a recent report on results of the Rural, Agricultural and Fishery Census conducted by the General Statistics Office.
It is due to increasing urbanisation, natural causes like climate change, and low incomes from farming, and many people working in the agricultural sector have switched to other vocations.
Agriculture used to be an important sector that provided jobs for thousands of people in the city since 1986.
But from around 2000 its importance began to decline, and the number fell from 140,045 workers then to 43,355 by 2016.
By July 2016 the rate of agricultural households (farming, forestry, fishing) in the city fell to 6.8 per cent.
One of the reasons for the decline is the lack of government support for agriculture.
Phan Quốc Hưng of District 12 has grown orchids for 20 years. Recently, he and his father created an app to help grow fresh vegetables in plastic trays in apartment buildings.
But he has not received any financial support from local authorities. He said: “I have invested about VNĐ1 billion (US$44,000) in my farm. But I need VNĐ3 billion to develop my business.”
To develop their aquaculture potential, Cần Giờ and Nhà Bè districts plan to have 6,000ha of shrimp farms. However, each hectare requires up to VNĐ700 million to develop, meaning many farmers are unable to afford them, and the plan remains unfulfilled.
Nguyễn Văn Hùng of Cần Giờ District said: “We hope the Government will support shrimp farmers since they are struggling with polluted water and changing weather.”
The city rolled out several policies last year to support agriculture, especially people investing in clean agriculture and those using high technology.
A training programme has been instituted to train 3,000 agricultural workers in 2018- 2020.
Nguyễn Hải An, director of the High-Tech Enterprise Training Centre, said: “Our goal is to become the top service centre for high-tech agricultural production. Our centre will provide legal consultancy and training for potential agricultural companies.”
Lê Thanh Liêm, vice chairman of the city People’s Committee, has instructed agricultural officials to draft a plan for developing agriculture from now through 2020. —VNS