Improving Quality and Sustainability in New Countryside Development

9:11:41 AM | 2/7/2020

The National Conference on New Rural Development, recently held in Quang Tri province, put forth core contents in the coming period: developing national criteria for new rural areas at all levels, striving for all districts in the country to have certified new countryside communes and developing rural economy.

According to a report by the National Coordination Office (NCO) of the National Target Program on New Rural Development (NTP-NRD), more than VND2,115.6 trillion has been mobilized for the new rural development program in five years (2016-2020), an increase of 2.5 times that of the 2011-2015 period. With many creative methods, effective models, useful practices and quality assurance, 37 provinces and cities across the country have completed and exceeded the 5-year plan (2016-2020) approved and assigned by the Prime Minister. The country now has 5,177 communes certified to meet new countryside standards, with a commune reaching an average of 16.2 criteria; 126 out of 664 district-level units recognized by the province to achieve this status. Nine provinces and cities have 100% of communes certified to meet new rural development standards.

In addition, the One Commune One Product (OCOP) program has produced positive outcomes so far. The awareness of the public, the Party, authorities at all levels, the business community and cooperatives about the position of OCOP program for rural economic development has also been raised. To date, 61 out of 63 provinces and cities across the country have participated in the OCOP Program/Plan and 32 of them have evaluated and certified 1,711 OCOP products made by 986 entities joining the program.

Stressing the objectives set for 2020, Mr. Tran Thanh Nam, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said, improving the quality of new countryside development for districts is the effort to raise the quality of material and spiritual life for the people beneficiary from the new rural development program. Incomes must be increased, and education and health insurance must meet people’s needs. Criteria are flexibly applied to each locality. At the conference, Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam praised and highly appreciated the effort of people working for the National Coordination Office (NCO) of the National Target Program on New Rural Development (NTP-NRD) for completing and outdoing their tasks, but also ensuring the quality and efficiency of their tasks, helping direct localities to accelerate the progress of increasingly sustainable new rural development. He also hailed them for advising on key tasks for the Party Central Steering Committee and the Prime Minister, such as regulations on model new countryside commune, the support project for poor villages and hamlets in poor communes, the OCOP program, rural development and new countryside development program, and scientific and technological application to new countryside. National Coordination Office has worked closely with ministries, branches and localities to well perform the coordinating role in new rural development.

2020 is a very important year as many very important tasks must be achieved to fulfil the goal of having 50% of communes nationwide meeting new countryside standards and having no communes with less than five criteria. Coordination offices at all levels need to soon complete their advisory tasks and help the Party Central Steering Committee to identify objectives and tasks beyond 2020. They need to build working plans, closely coordinate with the ministries, branches and localities, and direct localities to launch new rural development tasks in the year to come. In addition to reviewing and discussing lessons learned, this conference also spent time conducting field surveys and assessed the status by paying field trips to some typical rural development models in Quang Tri province.

From the achievements in the past 10 years, the next goals of the New Rural Development Program in the 2021-2025 are improving the material and spiritual life of rural people, building modern synchronous rural socioeconomic infrastructure aligned with the urbanization process and adaptation to climate change; speed up information technology application to new countryside construction, ensuring bright, green, clean, beautiful and safe rural environment and landscape; and making the countryside a worthy living space. By 2025, at least 80% of communes will meet new countryside construction standards and no communes fulfil less than 15 criteria. Certified localities (communes, districts and provinces) continue with advanced rural development models. The average income of rural people will increase by at least 1.36 times over 2020.

The well-organized vertical working apparatus of coordination offices of rural development at all levels is really helpful to the process of managing and administering the National Target Program on New Rural Development. In particular, the work of advising and directing the implementation of the program at district and commune levels has improved dramatically, promoted the responsibility and roles of the Steering Committee members, and engaged all branches and levels in the program from provincial to grassroots levels.

By Minh Ngoc, Vietnam Business Forum