Truong Vinh Trong, Head of the Northwest Steering Committee, has urged the northwestern region to strongly implement policies on agriculture, new rural development and the forest-based economy.

Trong was speaking at an August 12 meeting to review achievements the northwestern provinces reaped over the first half of this year and outline a plan for the remainder of the year.

He stressed the need for the region to step up investment in infrastructure, especially in transport, irrigation, schools, hospitals and administrative establishments.

Attention should be paid to human resource development, vocational training for young people and rural workers and improving knowledge for officials, especially those at the grass-roots level and providing health care and social welfare to people, Trong said.

In the first half of this year, despite adverse impacts of inflation and the difficult economic situation, the northwestern provinces posted a growth rate of 10.54 percent, contributing nearly 7.4 trillion VND to the state budget, up 40.65 percent compared with the same period last year.

However, severe weather had greatly affected the region’s agricultural and forestry production, causing a food shortage during between-crop periods./.