A Swiss-funded project on improving public service in agriculture has proven effective after four years of implementing in northern mountainous Hoa Binh province.

The project has helped with devising agricultural development plans for one-year and five-year period, with 2,350 village meetings held across localities, involved 85 percent of households to identify their practical need, said Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Dung.

Other main project activities include building capability for financial management, organising farmer field school (FFS) classes and setting up veterinary and plant protection services.

In 2014 alone, around 7,600 farmers, more than half of them women, joined 380 FFSs on cultivation and animal breeding techniques such as growing mushroom, caring for hybrid maize and making feed for cattle.

Director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Vietnam (SDC) Samuel Waelty praised the local effort to ensure the implementation of the project to boost agricultural production and raise income sustainably for local people.

According to the project manager Nguyen Anh Minh, the project promotes local residents’ engagement in local projects on public infrastructure and economic development.

The project on improving the Public Service Provision for Agriculture and Rural Development (PSARD) has been carried out from May 2011 – May 2015 at total cost of nearly 9 million USD, with nearly 6 million USD coming from the SDC.

It aims to contribute to province- and district-wide mainstreaming of participatory local planning, financial decentralisation and improved public service delivery in agriculture, in order to reduce poverty and improve livelihoods in disadvantaged areas.-VNA