Vibrant Step forward in Rural Development

10:15:47 AM | 3/12/2021

New rural development has changed the face of Vietnamese rural areas and become a driving force of modern and sustainable agricultural production.

Positive change

The “all people join hands for rural development” movement has become powerful and influential across the country. The entire political system and the whole society, especially the consensus and response of the people, are engaged in the program. The Vietnam Fatherland Front and social and political organizations have effectively performed the role of social supervision and criticism, promoted democracy and the people’s role in new countryside construction.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, after 10 years of implementing the National Target Program on New Rural Development, the face of rural areas and the lives of rural people have been greatly improved. Strong agricultural and rural infrastructure development has dramatically changed the rural face. Agricultural production is restructured toward modernity and sustainability, focused on high-tech application and newly-developed cooperative style linked to the value chain, environmental development and community culture. By the end of 2020, over 63% of communes were estimated to fulfill new rural development standards, higher than the rate of 17.5% in 2015 (an increase of 45.5 percentage points); 165 out of 664 district-level localities met/completed new rural development standards, compared to 15 units in 2015 (an increase of 150 units). As much as VND2,115.68 trillion (US$92 billion) was raised for rural development in five years from 2016 to 2020, an increase of 2.5 times over the 5-year period from 2011 to 2015.

The One Commune One Product (OCOP) Program has produced many positive results. Local products and industries have boosted employment and income for rural people. More localities have joined the OCOP program. By the end of 2020, all 63 provinces and cities ratified the Provincial OCOP Scheme and Plan. They categorized and recognized 2,400 OCOP products, fulfilling 100% of the plan. The poverty rate rapidly slid from 9.2% in 2016 to 5.46% in 2019 and 4.2% in 2020. The agricultural and rural infrastructure system has been upgraded and modernized to better serve business operations of enterprises and livelihoods of people, prevent and mitigate natural disasters, and adapt to climate change.

In five years from 2016 to 2020, irrigation facilities increased their capacity by over 97,000 ha (2015: 35,000 ha) and watered 70,000 ha more agricultural land (2015: 15,000 ha). Irrigated rice area reached 7.5 million ha or 98% of the cultivated area. Irrigation reservoirs already increased. In 2020, there were 6,750 reservoirs, an increase of 421 reservoirs (6.7%) over 2015. Reservoir capacity was 14,500 million cubic meters, an increase of 1,300 million cubic meters (9.8%) over 2015. Natural disaster prevention and control were focused, switched from passive response to active prevention. As a result, although natural disasters were more complicated and irregular in recent years, damage to people and materials decreased significantly as compared to the previous period.

Building a model and modern countryside

The overall goals of the target program in the 2020-2025 period included developing smart, internationally integrated agriculture, adaptive to climate change, increasing added agricultural value and developing sustainable agriculture in association with building prosperous and civilized countryside; realizing the goal of developing prosperous agriculture, wealthy farmers and a civilized and modern countryside. Particular focus will be placed on specific objectives as follows:

Objectives to 2025: The agricultural sector strives to achieve annual growth of 2-3%. At least 80% of communes will meet new rural development standards (with about 40% meeting advanced standards and 10% meeting model standards) and 50% of district-level localities will achieve rural development standards.

Each province or city has at least two district-level localities fulfilling new rural development standards; 80% of poor villages in border areas, mountainous areas, coastal areas and islands achieve new rural development standards. At least 15 provinces are recognized to complete the task of new countryside construction. Per capita income in rural areas will be 1.6 times higher than in 2020. About 25% of rural workers will work in agriculture.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, building prosperous agriculture and civilized countryside, building an inclusive and sustainable countryside together with urbanization, accelerating industrial and service development, economic and labor restructuring in rural areas, and developing rural professions; supporting the conservation and development of cottage industries; linking economic activities of cottage industry villages with tourism services, conserving and developing traditional culture and protecting the environment are the next targets of the program.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum