Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Dong Nai (VNA) – The southern province of Dong Nai has set the goal of completing the programme on building new-style rural areas by 2020, bringing the rate of communes meeting criteria to 80 percent from the current 68 percent.

The province also aims to have 80 percent of its districts recognised as new-style rural areas, while reducing the household poverty rate to under 1 percent.

According to the provincial Planning and Investment Department, around 142 trillion VND (6.3 billion USD) will be needed to invest in rural infrastructure in order to achieve the set targets. A substantial portion of the investment – 125 trillion VND (5.5 billion USD) will be sourced from domestic and foreign businesses, and the remaining is to come from the provincial budget, with only 325 billion VND (14.4 million USD) provided by the central budget and Government bonds.

The province will appeal for investment from foreign investors and non-State sectors to restructure agricultural production, while issuing incentives for investment in rural areas and agriculture.

As of the end of 2015, three districts and 91 out of 133 communes in Dong Nai were recognised as new-style rural areas.

Director of the provincial Agriculture and Rural Development Deparment Pham Minh Dao said the province will soon propose the Government to recognize two more districts – Long Thanh and Nhon Trach.

While agriculture contributes only 6 percent of the province’s Gross Regional Domestic Product, 60 percent of Dong Nai’ population live in rural areas.

Local officials attributed the success of the local new-style rural area programme to the right attitude which makes people the subject and also beneficiaries of the effort, with the highest goal being raising rural residents’ incomes.

Toward the goal, the province has focused on shifting the mode of production from small to large scale, building material-growing zones and promoting the application of science-technology to production.

As a result, production value on a hectare of land in Dong Nai averaged 105 million VND (4,700 USD) in 2015, up 23 percent from 2011, which helped bring per capita income in rural areas in the province to 36 million VND (more than 1,630 USD), an increase of 59 percent from 2011.

The national target programme on building new-style rural areas, initiated by the Government in 2010, sets 19 criteria on socio-economic development, politics, and defence, aiming to modernise rural areas.

The criteria cover the development of infrastructure, the improvement of production capacities, environmental protection, and the promotion of cultural values.

The country aims to have 50 percent of all communes nationwide meeting all the requirements by the end of 2020.

As many as 1,526 communes and 15 districts nationwide completed all 19 criteria required for being recognised as new-style rural areas, according to reports at a conference to review the UN Joint Project (UNJP/VIE/051/UNJ) in early January.-VNA