Agriculture and the countryside on Hanoi’s outlying areas have seen positive changes resulted from the new rural building program, which has been carried out for almost three years.

Coupled with changes were lessons the city has drawn from the building of new rural areas, including how to promote the people’s role and mobilise social resources for the proramme.

Over three years, all communes in 19 districts and townships in Hanoi have finalised their projects on building new rural areas.

As many as 161 of 401 communes have achieved 10 of 19 criteria and 12 communes have fulfilled all 19 criteria. Many communes have recorded remarkable economic growth and people’s living conditions have improved.

Tien Yen commune in Hoai Duc district has become popular for growing clean vegetables while Tay Tuu commune in Tu Liem district has expanded its flower growing areas.

Bac Thuong hamlet in Soc Son district has re-zoned 54 hectares of land and allocated them to the villagers for cultivation. The hamlet’s authorities have come to every household to explain their land zoning policy and get the locals’ approval.

However, there remain challenges in implementing the new rural building plan in Hanoi , such as insufficient investment in agriculture, a lack of measures to resolve environmental pollution, and inadequate outlets for farm produce.

The capital city has mobilised over 8.5 trillion VND, including 1 trillion from enterprises and the people for building new rural areas.

Nguyen Cong Soai, Deputy Secretary of Hanoi ’s Party Committee and Head of the Municipal’s Steering Committee on building new rural areas, said that communes that have achieved 14 to 18 criteria will strive to complete all 19 criteria this year or next year and those who have completed all the criteria have to maintain and expand their results.

Hanoi has asked localities to continue to use new varieties and trees and animals, apply advanced technology, and focus on communications to popularise the building of new rural areas.

The city plans to have another 160 communes achieving all 19 criteria by 2015, boost farmers’ average annual income to 25 million VND, and reduce the poverty rate to between 1.5 and 1.8 percent.-VNA