A forum featuring the role of businesses in new rural areas took place in Hanoi on May 22, where an expert urged farmers to adopt a more commercial mindset.

Two major questions for Vietnam’s agriculture is quality and quality control, said Director of the Vietnam Institute of Economics, Tran Dinh Thien, adding that large-scale production will provide the answer with farmers still playing the key role while businesses work as the organizer.

Another expert, Nguyen Dinh Bich, said firms need to work closely with farmers and cooperatives to establish farm produce distribution channels.

Since the National Target Programme on new rural development was launched five years ago, the nation has recognised 785 districts as new rural areas, or 8.8 percent of the total.

However, businesses’ investment accounted for just 3.71 percent of the total capital disbursed for the programme, while the target is 20 percent

Nguyen Van Tien, head of the Agriculture Department under the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, said the shortage of companies in agriculture and rural areas is slowing the economic restructuring process and creating an excessive pool of labourers in localities.

He noted that the business sector plays an important role in organize production and export of agricultural products and suggested such measures as improving the quality of land planning management and vocational training, simplifying business licensing procedures in agriculture, and launching effective production models in rural areas, in order to attract businesses to rural areas.

The forum was co-hosted by the Coordinating Office for New Rural Development, the Central Steering Board for the National Target Programme on New Rural Development, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Trade Promotion Centre for Agriculture.-VNA