Hi-tech production of cantaloupe fruits which are grown in a glass house in Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - The switch from traditional to urban farming in Ho Chi Minh City has yielded great success over the last five years, according to the city's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

For the 2011-15 period, more than 3,700 farmer households and enterprises with feasible business plans received a loan interest subsidy from a city programme to implement their projects.

Speaking at a meeting in HCM City on March 3, Tran Ngoc Ho, the department's deputy director, said the projects had created jobs for 45,097 labourers and helped raise the average per capita income in rural areas to 39.72 million VND (1,787 USD) per year, reducing the income gap between rural and urban areas.

Earnings from agricultural production in places like Can Gio, Cu Chi, Binh Chanh, Nha Be, Thu Duc and Hoc Mon districts, and District 9 and 12 improved significantly, he said.

As a leading district in agricultural restructuring, Can Gio district during the period achieved an average growth rate of 11.1 per cent a year in production value of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, said Tran Xuan Binh, head of the district's Economics Department.

Earnings from agricultural production per hectare increased to 300 million VND last year, an increase of 13 percent over 2010, he said, adding that the programme had also helped to reduce the district's poverty rate to 15 percent.

Based on these successes, the city passed a new provision to urbanise agriculture in the 2016-20 period, with adjustments to facilitate bank loan access of farmers and enterprises in the city in an effort to help them boost their production, Ho said.

Under the programme, individuals and organisations investing in the agricultural sector and having feasible business plans will receive between 60-100 percent loan interest subsidy from the city, he said.

The city expects to raise the average per capita income to 63 million VND (as well as earnings from agricultural production per hectare to over 800 million VND by 2020 under the new programme, he said.-VNA