Tra Vinh Seeking Positive Methods in New Countryside Construction

11:22:09 PM | 7/5/2015

Under the leadership and direction of the Central Party, plus the effort and determination of the Party, army, people and business community of Tra Vinh province, the National Target Programme for New Countryside Construction has produced positive results. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr Tran Tri Dung, Member of the Central Party Committee, Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee and Head of the Steering Committee for the National Target Programme for New Countryside Construction of Tra Vinh province, on the results and methods of implementing and orientating the new rural construction in the province. Thanh Kiet reports.
Could you please introduce some outstanding results of the National Target Programme for New Countryside Construction, after four years of implementation?
In four years of carrying out the New Countryside Construction Programme, Tra Vinh province has achieved many outstanding results, such as:
 
- The awareness of Party committees, governmental agencies at all levels and the people of the province has been improved. The province has managed to clarify the significance, purposes, steps and implementation measures rather than passively wait for new development as before.
 
- The face of rural life and the income of rural population have clearly changed: Better basic infrastructure, especially in rural traffic systems (there are now 600 rural roads with a total length of 2,500 km running across the province). All communes have standard medical stations and all villages have health workers. The average income of a rural household increases (presently, approximately VND71 million a year, with 75.8 percent of households earning more than the medium value). Nearly 97.4 percent of households have access to electricity (up 2.5 percent from 2011) and 78 percent of households have access to clean water (up nearly 12 percent).
 
- To date, 13 communes have achieved 19 criteria of new countryside construction; four communes have completed 15-18 criteria; and 34 communes have met 10-14 criteria. Many communes have achieved important criteria since the programme was launched (27 communes fulfilled traffic criterion, an increase of 25 communes; 77 communes have met irrigation criterion, up 40 communes; 53 communes have met electricity criterion, up 24 communes; 51 communes have met market criterion, up 27 communes; 80 communes have met post office criterion, up 33 communes; 38 communes have met income criterion, up 30 communes; 65 communes have met employment criterion, up 57 communes; 64 communes have met production organisation criterion, up 25 communes; 75 communes have met education criterion, up 47 communes; and 65 communes have met political system construction criterion up 12 communes.)
How has the province integrated the National Target Programme for New Countryside Construction with other target programmes in the province?
The province now has 14 national target programmes in force (Employment and Vocational Training Programme; Sustainable Poverty Reduction Programme; Rural Water and Environmental Sanitation Programme; Health Programme; Population and Family Planning Programme; Food Safety and Hygiene Programme; Culture Programme; Education and Training Programme; Drug Prevention Programme; Crime Prevention Programme; HIV/AIDS Prevention Programme; Remote Information Spreading Programme; and Climate Change Response Programme) integrated with budgets and resources contributed by businesses and people. In the past four years, the province has mobilised VND3,012.6 billion for infrastructure construction, production development and rural traffic construction. Watering system and power grid basically meet local production and agricultural restructuring demands. Market information system, scientific and technological services effectively serve local people.
 
How have businesses showed their roles in new countryside construction?
The province has 183 agribusinesses, which mainly consume and trade agricultural products. On average, each unit has 40 employees, VND13 billion of business capital, and VND20 billion of annual revenue. Five companies have signed contracts with farmers to buy agricultural products (Tra Vinh Food Company, An Giang Plant Protection Company, Southern Seed Company, Tra Vinh Sugar and Cane Company, and CP-Vietnam Livestock Joint Stock Company).
- Understanding the important role of businesses to new countryside construction, especially production reorganisation, market linkage and consumption of agricultural products, to encourage and attract businesses to invest in new countryside construction, the Provincial People's Council and the Provincial People’s Committee issued resolutions and policies to encourage businesses to invest in agriculture and rural development, and concerned departments have specific plans for execution. However, to encourage and attract many businesses to invest in new countryside construction, the Government must has more policies and mechanisms, especially policies on capital, tax incentives and land, to facilitate them to engage in new countryside construction, particularly developing production infrastructure and building agricultural production-consumption chains.
 
To carry out the new countryside construction programme effectively, how has Tra Vinh province dealt with human resource issues?
The new countryside construction is a top political task of the Provincial Party; thus, it requires system-wide participation. The steering committees at all levels (province, district and commune) have been completed. Currently, the Provincial People's Committee applies Decision 1996/QD-TTg dated November 4, 2014 of the Prime Minister regulating functions, tasks, powers, organisation and personnel of advisory boards which are assigned to steering boards to carry out the new countryside construction programme.
 
In addition, the province is determined to focus on improving the quality of the local labour force. To train and upgrade workmanship quality for rural workers, the province has set up 21 vocational training units with an annual training capacity of over 20,000 people. These facilities have helped raise the proportion of trained workers to 39 percent. The vocational training project, created to meet the Prime Minister’s Decision 1956, annually trains over 15,000 people. At the same time, the province has focused on upgrading the quality of grassroots officials, particularly those with agricultural expertise, to guide farmers to apply new techniques, crops and species to increase productivity and efficiency. (The province encourages agricultural engineers to work in communes. Each commune now has two engineers on average.)
 
Would you mind sharing lessons learned in four years of implementing the National Target Programme for New Countryside Construction, as well as key tasks in the coming time?
- First is the role of the entire political system and the people with the spirit of high responsibility and determination. Therefore, the political system must have specific action plans in each area to mobilise, motivate, guide and urge them to take part in implementation.
 
- Second is the best utilisation of available resources given limited budgets (in population, and the business community).
 
- Third is the good leadership, direction, organisation and, supervision and support to deal with emerging difficulties and obstacles.
 
In 2015, Tra Vinh province targets to have 11 new communes satisfying new countryside standards, bringing the total number to 24 out of 85 communes, or 28.2 percent of the total and 8.2 percent in excess of targets set in the Resolution).
 
By 2020, at least 50 percent of communes meet new countryside standard (43 communes) and one district meets this standard.

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