Making Rural Areas More Livable

9:40:46 AM | 11/6/2023

The development of new-style rural areas is a continuous and regular process aimed at ensuring sustainable rural development and improving the lives of people, both materially and spiritually. Under the guidance of the Vietnamese government, the National Target Program on New Rural Development has achieved significant, comprehensive and historic results after ten years of implementation.

The National Target Program has improved rural outlook, infrastructure, agriculture, and living standards of rural people

According to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan, the government prioritizes supporting communes and districts to meet the standards of new model rural areas. The government focuses on the principle that rural areas, agriculture, and farmers are the foundation for New Rural Development. The goal is to have no communes with less than 15 criteria by 2025, and to encourage localities to proactively build model new rural areas.

The new rural program is designed not only to build a system of infrastructure, facilities, and institutions but also to promote six strategies: developing rural tourism in new rural construction; promoting the role of science and technology in new rural construction; accelerating digital transformation in new rural construction toward smart new rural areas; strengthening environmental protection, food safety, and rural clean water supply in new rural construction in the period 2021-2025; improving the quality and efficiency of implementing security and order criteria in new rural construction in the period 2021-2025; and promoting the One Commune One Product Program (OCOP Program). The program also addresses issues such as ensuring gender equality and nutrition for rural residents as well as promoting the role of agricultural extension.

The objective of building new-style rural areas by 2025 is to ensure that at least 80% of communes meet the standards of new-style rural areas, with approximately 40% of the communes meeting the standards of newly advanced rural areas and at least 10% meeting the standards of new model rural areas. The country aims to have at least 50% of rural districts, towns, and cities meet the standards of new-style rural areas. The goal is to complete the task of building new-style rural areas, with at least 20% of districts recognized as newly-advanced rural areas or newly modeled rural areas.

However, according to the Central New Rural Coordination Office, despite the achieved results, there are still some limitations and inadequacies in the implementation of the National Target Program on New Rural Development in recent times. These include: The results of new rural construction are not sustainable and intensive; there are significant disparities among regions (especially mountainous provinces); localities still face difficulties in building advanced new-style rural areas, model new-style rural areas, and new-style rural areas in villages; and sustainable maintenance of results after meeting standards is still limited.

To achieve the goal for the period 2021-2025, localities must focus on building and maintaining essential infrastructure for rural socio-economic development. They should prioritize investment in transportation systems, irrigation, information technology infrastructure, trade, health, education, culture, and sports. Encouraging investment in concentrated clean water supply projects in the form of socialization is also essential. Maximizing private investment and investment in the form of public-private partnerships associated with improving the efficiency of management and use of public investment capital is another priority.

The goal for 2025 is to ensure that at least 80% of the communes in Vietnam achieve the criteria of new-style rural areas 

It is necessary to innovate the operation contents and improve the efficiency of the New Rural Development Program in accordance with the development level, culture, and specific conditions of each region to ensure effectiveness and sustainability while avoiding unfocused investment and wastefulness.

The Central Coordination Office for New Rural Development urged localities to concentrate investment resources and invest in communes and districts that have not yet met the new rural standards. They should focus on safe zone communes and communes that meet less than 15 criteria. Supporting communes that have met new rural standards to continue maintaining, perfecting, and improving the quality of the criteria is also essential to ensure sustainability.

The office emphasized the need to encourage the construction of enhanced new-style rural areas and model new-style rural areas to create a green, clean, beautiful, and safe rural environment and landscape with rich traditional cultural identities. The goal is to improve the political system in rural areas, maintain national defense, security and order, and make rural areas “worth living places.” Localities are also recommended to build a smart new-style rural area that applies information technology and digital technology to fundamentally change the management, administration and supervision of government agencies. This will improve the production and business of enterprises, cooperatives, and craft villages to narrow the gap between basic social services and modern social services.

The objective of the National Target Program on New Rural Development for the period 2021-2025 is to focus on improving living standards and creating sustainable livelihoods for people in rural areas. To make rural areas worth living, requires more leverage to improve living standards. The results of the National Target Program on New Rural Development in recent years will be a premise and motivation for the program to continue developing in the coming period.

By Dinh Bao, Vietnam Business Forum