Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung held a working session with officials from the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak in Hanoi on November 24, requesting them to undertake maximum efforts to tap into their potential in agriculture and forestry.

The Cabinet leader highlighted that the province had not yet succeeded in maximising the benefits of its land, forestry and agricultural production resources. For example, the province’s coffee products have failed to gain a foothold in international markets, while its forests are not providing a stable source of income for local residents.

He urged the province to work harder to attract domestic and foreign investments to coffee cultivation and processing, and build a strong trademark for its coffee products on the global market.

Meanwhile, the locality also needed to mobilise resources to develop forest-based economic activities in ethnic minority communities; upgrade its socio-economic infrastructure, particularly traffic and irrigation systems; ensure social welfare; and accelerate the building of new-style rural areas, the PM said.

During the session, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Nie Thuat reported that local socio-economic conditions had been improved in recent years, fostered by the development of Buon Ma Thuot City, which was designated a key city of the Central Highlands region.

Buon Ma Thuot maintained a growth rate of 13.84 percent between 2010 and 2013, and its per capita GDP is expected to top 47 million VND (nearly 2,240 USD) in 2014. The household poverty rate also decreased by 1.55 percent a year in the 2010-2013 period, he added.

Dak Lak officials suggested the Government provide 100 percent of the corresponding capital for ODA-funded projects and invite major State-run enterprises to open agricultural processing factories in the locality.

Covering more than 13,000km2 of land in the heart of the Central Highlands, Dak Lak is home to approximately 1.8 million residents, with more than 1.3 million people living in rural areas and more than 30 percent of the population being ethnic minorities.

The province boasts more than 202,500ha of coffee plantations, accounting for 40 percent of coffee cultivation areas in the Central Highlands and 30 percent of coffee plantations in all of Vietnam, with an annual yield of more than 412,000 tonnes. Dak Lak’s coffee beans are exported to 80 countries and territories worldwide.-VNA