Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Bac Lieu (VNA) – Phuoc Long has become the first district in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu getting the new-style rural area status.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Thanh Nam granted the Prime Minister’s decision to the district’s authorities during a January 29 ceremony to announce the district as a new-style area in 2017.

With this recognition, the province now has 16 communes and one district named new-style rural areas.

At the ceremony, Nam acknowledged the joint efforts made by the district’s authorities and locals to gain the achievement, hoping that the district will continue focusing on improving the living conditions of residents.

On this occasion, the provincial People’s Committee also gave a cash award of 10 billion VND (440,000 USD) to the district.

Five units and seven individuals were also honoured for their outstanding contributions to new-style rural area building.

Chairman of the district People’s Committee Pham Thanh Hai, who is also head of the district new-style rural area building programme, said that the district has all seven communes meeting the criteria set for a new style rural area. The programme cost over 930 billion VND (41 million USD), of which over 90 billion VND (3.96 million USD) was donated by locals.

The district’s income per capital reached 42 million VND (1,850 USD) per year, and the poor household rate fell to 3.9 percent in 2017.

The National Target Programme on New Rural Development, launched in 2010, set out 19 criteria for new-style rural areas covering infrastructure, production, living standards, income, culture and others.

The list of criteria includes the development of infrastructure, the improvement of production capacity, environmental protection and the promotion of cultural values.

 In 2015, the set of criteria was increased to 20.

A district must have at least 75 percent of its communes meeting all the set criteria in order to receive the title of new-style rural district.-VNA