The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) launched a project on developing rural infrastructure in the Central Highlands at a conference in Dak Lak province on March 15.

The five-year project, worth 87.58 million USD, including 80 million USD funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), aims to reduce the number of local people living in poverty and boost the sustainable development of the region’s five provinces: Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Gia Lai, Kon Tum, and Lam Dong.

Addressing the event, Deputy Minister Hoang Van Thang said the region has strengths in developing high added-value farm produce such as coffee, rubber and pepper, but faces a number of shortcomings in investing and managing land, water resources, and irritation works.

Thang suggested the provinces hasten ground clearance work for the construction of their essential facilities to successfully implement the project.

Each of them should establish a management model with the participation of all economic sectors to utilise local irrigation works in a sustainable manner, he said, emphasising consideration for the project’s environmental impact and contribution to social welfare.

The project will focus on upgrading irrigation works and constructing rural roads to link production areas.

When finished, the project will help local farming households increase their income by 20 percent and reduce the rate of poor households in the region to 25 percent. It will also enable local businesses to raise their revenue from farm produce by 30 percent and generate jobs for 255,000 people.-VNA