The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has set a goal of mechanising every hectare of farm land nationwide to an average of 2.0-2.5 horsepower by 2015, and 3-4 horsepower by 2020.

By 2015, farming machines will be used in 95 percent of land tilling work, 35 percent of cultivation and 70 percent of harvesting work, Doan Xuan Hoa, deputy head of the Department of Agro-Forestry, Seafood Processing and Salt Industry, said at a December 30 conference in Ho Chi Minh City.

Those figures would be 100 percent, 50 percent and 80 percent, respectively, in 2020.

However, Hoa also said he worried about high prices of the machines, as most of them are imported.

To reach the goals, the department has worked a number of measures, including better planning of farming areas, improving agricultural infrastructure, speeding up the application of high technology and attracting investment to agricultural mechanisation.

Currently, Vietnam has about 600,000 tractors, 2,600,000 thrashers and 20,000 harvesters.-VNA