Many provinces and cities have built new rural areas, achieving significant results, including improved infrastructure, new farming production models and higher incomes.
In 2008 the Government chose 11 communes nationwide to participate in a national pilot programme to build new rural areas.
In HCM City ‘s Cu Chi district, the living standards of people in Tan Thong Hoi commune, which is one of 11 communes under the national pilot programme, have risen.
In addition, the poverty rate fell from 22 percent to 12.4 percent in June, according to the HCM City Statistics Bureau.
As of June, the commune had fulfilled 12 of the 19 criteria set under the programme, including those related to transport, irrigation, housing, poverty, and political and social security. It targets fulfilling the remaining criteria next year.
Over the past years, in many provinces and cities, local authorities and residents have built new rural areas by developing transport infrastructure and farming production models.
Hau Giang province, for example, built new rural areas in 2006-10.
At the end of August, the Hau Giang province People’s Committee recognised three communes, Vi Thanh in Vi Thuy district, Vinh Vien in Long My district and Tan Tien in Vi Thanh district, which have met 13 of 19 criteria set under the programme.
In Vi Thanh commune, the per capita annual income has reached nearly 15 million VND (780 USD), two times more than in 2006.
Providing junior high school education for all youth, as well as extended vaccinations for children, which are two of the criteria, have reached 100 percent in Vi Thanh commune.
Similarly, Bac Lieu province’s Phuoc Long district has built new rural areas, restructuring its farming production by diversifying plant cultivation and animal husbandry.
The district has mobilised all sectors to build infrastructure systems.
The capital for constructing public projects has been raised from the State and the community.
All roads in the district’s communes have been paved and the district’s per capita annual income has climbed to 15.5 million VND, up 2.5 times compared to 2005.
Still, investing in new farm production models has been the most difficult task in building new rural areas, according to the Central Steering Committee for the national programme of building new rural areas.
The committee has also asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and provincial steering committees to invest more money for the development of agricultural production models in rural areas.
Nguyen Phong Quang, deputy head of the Steering Committee for the Southwestern Region, said: “Developing production, improving income and changing the labour structure in rural areas cannot be done in a short time and it needs to be implemented over the long term.”
Huynh Minh Doan, former secretary of the Dong Thap province’s Party Committee, said rural residents played a leading role in the process of building new rural areas.
“Besides the investment of the central and local governments, the task of building new rural areas at the commune level is based on the community,” Doan said.
“It is important to raise the solidarity and awareness of people in implementing the programme,” he added.
In August, the Government launched the national programme on building new rural areas in all communes nationwide for the 2010-20 period, with a target of reaching 50 percent of communes that will meet the 19 criteria by 2020.
It also targets transferring more agricultural labourers to other sectors to reduce the national farming workforce to 30 percent by 2020. It represented 51.9 percent of the workforce in 2009.