The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will allocate 48.35 million USD for a provincial-level project to support the development of agriculture, rural areas and farmers in Vietnam.

An agreement on the funding was signed in Rome , Italy , on Feb. 25.

The funding, the largest that IFAD has given to Vietnam so far, will be used for the northern province of Tuyen Quang, the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai and the southern province of Ninh Thuan in the 2011-15 period.

IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze, who visited Vietnam last November, spoke highly of what the Vietnamese government has gained in agriculture and rural development, describing Vietnam as an excellent model for developing countries.

He referred to the fact that Vietnam has become a rice exporter after struggling against food shortage for a long time and that the country has contributed to ensuring food security in the world.

The IFAD President affirmed that the fund will seek ways to raise the living conditions of Vietnamese rural people, especially ethnic minority people.

The official also expressed hope that Vietnam will increase further investment in developing agriculture and rural areas in the long term.

He pledged that he himself and IFAD will continue assisting the Vietnamese government and people./.