Farmers in Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province, cultivates rice seedlings (Photo: VNA)

Ninh Binh (VNA) – Both material and spiritual lives of rural residents in the northern province of Ninh Binh have been improved over the past decade thanks to the national target programme for building new-style countryside.

The national target programme, initiated by the Government in 2010, sets 19 criteria on socio-economic development, politics, and defence, among others, aiming to boost the development of rural regions of Vietnam. The number of criteria was increased to 20 in 2015.

Ninh Binh had a low starting point when it began rural development efforts under the national programme in 2010. Many of its communes met five criteria, but some satisfied only one or two criteria. Local infrastructure was also in dilapidated condition. 

After almost 10 years of implementing the national target programme, 89 or 75 percent of the 118 local communes have been recognised as new-style rural areas. Each commune met 17.7 criteria on average, up 12.7 from 2010, and no communes have the number of criteria satisfied lower than 10.

Building new-style rural areas has become a widespread emulation movement attracting many investment resources. About 32.82 trillion VND (1.41 billion VND) has been mobilised for the work in Ninh Binh so far.

The province has taken creative measures suitable with local conditions to carry out the national target programme, winning the support of local people. It has been assessed as one of the leading localities in Vietnam in building new-style countryside.

As many as 12,920 roads with the total length of over 1,540km have been constructed. Hundreds of schools, communal clinics, markets, water supply facilities and cultural centres have also been upgraded or built.

According to Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Van Ha, the building of new-style countryside in Ninh Binh is becoming more and more substantive. One of the biggest successes is maximising resources for infrastructure development to serve people’s daily and production activities, thus meeting socio-economic development demand.

Meanwhile, rural economic structure has been shifted towards industrialisation and modernisation. Mass production, application of high technology and land accumulation have been promoted in agriculture, helping to almost double production value from 65 million VND per ha in 2010 to 125 million VND per ha in 2019.

Notably, land accumulation has been associated with agricultural restructuring, thus facilitating farming activities and improving farmers’ income. Up to 97 communes have completed this work with over 38,460ha of farmland accumulated.

Pham Ngoc Phuc, head of the social support division of the provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said Ninh Binh has well combined new-style rural area building activities with poverty reduction efforts to boost mass production and improve poor households’ income. Support for deprived families, the building of effective production models and vocational training provision have generated observable outcomes.

Over the last 10 years, local annual per capita income has risen, from 16 million VND in 2010 to 41 million VND in 2018. The building of new-style rural areas has also created conditions for the poor to better access basic social services, helping to bring down the respective poor and new-poor household rates from 12.39 – 9.16 percent in 2010 to 3.63 – 5 percent last year.

In 2018 alone, more than 4,110 households in Ninh Binh escaped from poverty while 6,500 others emerged from the near-poor status to middle-level living standards and higher.

Phuong said in the coming time, the province will continue combing the new-style rural area building programme with the sustainable poverty reduction one and capitalising on different resources, including the State’s support, the local budget, businesses’ contribution and the community’s participation, for the work.

As of June this year, 4,402 communes across Vietnam, or 49.38 percent of all communes, had been recognised as new-style rural areas. Seventy-six districts of 34 provinces and centrally-run cities nationwide received recognition for meeting all criteria, according to a recent conference reviewing in the national target programme. -VNA