|Trịnh Thị Kiều Trinh plants orchids on trellises because of the lack of available land in HCM City for agricultural use. – Photo sggp.vn.|
HCM CITY – Urban agriculture could be successful in big cities such as HCM City, but farmers face a shortage of available land because of many incompleted projects that have been in the planning stages for years.
Bình Chánh District, for example, is a key agricultural production region in the city but farmland has shrunk due to industrialisation and urbanisation.
In addition, many projects remain on paper, such as Hưng Long University village with 500ha in Hưng Long commune, which has languished for 10 years without implementation, the Sài Gòn Giải Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn) newspaper reported on Monday.
Most agricultural land in the commune is for low-capacity crop cultivation and farmers would like to change their stated usage of the land, but they have not been able to receive approval because of projects that have been planned for the land.
Hồ Thanh Huy, a resident in Hưng Long Commune, said he would like to raise fish and plant vegetables, but cannot shift to new production because of the local government’s plans for using the land.
“I have asked permission to change my cultivation, but they say I must wait and no deadline exists,” he said.
Trịnh Thị Kiều Trinh, who faces the same problem, has had to plant orchids on trellises instead of on land.
The People’s Committee of Bình Tân District said that authorities should consider allowing farmers to cultivate land that still has not been used.
“However, Bình Tân District no longer has agricultural land planning and we must wait for guidelines for the entire city,” a district spokesperson was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
“The People’s Committee of District 12 has asked the city’s People’s Committee to adjust the regulation,” Nguyễn Văn Đức, deputy chairman of District 12 People’s Committee, said.
“Agricultural land should be permitted to be used, but farmers should submit their production plan and local authorities must supervise it,” Trần Ngọc Hổ, deputy director of the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said.
“Farmers who are living on land for planned projects can continue carrying out agricultural cultivation based on their original purposes, and in some cases, farmers can change their purpose, but it must be practical,” a spokesman of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment said.
“All regulations aim to prevent illegal construction on agricultural land with the aim of getting higher compensation,” he added. – VNS