New-style rural area building faces many challenges: Minister hinh anh 1Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong speaks at the conference. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Middle-income trap, climate change and international economic integration are posing great challenges to agriculture, farmers and rural areas in Vietnam, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said at a conference held in Hanoi on October 5.

According to Cuong, each commune in the country has met an average 15.32 criteria of new-style area and more than half of the communes nationwide (4,554 communes) have been recognised as new-style rural areas as of October.

However, many problems remain, he said, citing examples such as wide development gap between the localities, low rural income despite increases of 3.4-3.5 times from ten years ago, and environmental pollution.

It is a must to identify challenges in building new-style rural area in the past decade so as to shape up a more suitable plan in the coming time, he stressed.

At the event, Dang Kim Son from the Agricultural Market and Institutional Research Centre pointed out that the country lacks a comprehensive strategy to connect rural and urban areas, making it difficult to narrow down gap between rural and urban areas.

He suggested the establishment of an inclusive development model which encourages the development of rural economy.

Meanwhile, another expert at the conference said at in the past ten years, agriculture still accounted for 50 percent of the rural jobs, while the rural labour market is aging rapidly as rural residents tend to migrate to urban areas for jobs. Therefore, it is important to have vocational training policies for rural workers, and setting up good coordination between vocational schools and employers is a good choice./.