Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong speaks at the working session with Ca Mau officials (Photo: VNA)

Ca Mau (VNA) – The southernmost province of Ca Mau should develop agriculture, forestry and fisheries with a focus on shrimp farming and processing, and sea- and forest-based economic activities, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has said.

At a working session with provincial officials on February 21, he highlighted local potential and advantages, including fertile soil and a climate with the wet season and the dry season, which are favourable for agriculture, forestry and aquaculture.

Two decades since the province’s re-establishment, Ca Mau has made encouraging strides when its urban and rural areas have gained a facelift and the systems of roads, schools and clinics have been built, together with strong shifts seen in the economic structure, a sharp fall in the poverty rate and increasing budget collection.

However, the province is still facing an array of challenges as a result of poor transport infrastructure, heavy climate change impacts, freshwater shortage, serious coastal erosion, and limited capital sources.

The Party leader asked Ca Mau officials to align development plans with the local situation to capitalise on the province’s advantages.

In the short term, Ca Mau should apply itself to developing sea-based economic activities, including offshore fishing which needs to be associated with national sovereignty safeguarding. It also needs to develop wind and solar power while stepping up environmental protection, afforestation, and climate change response, he said.

To ensure resources for development, he told provincial authorities to encourage the participation of residents, businesses and the political system, and make use of assistance from ministries and central agencies.

They should provide favourable mechanisms, policies and conditions for attracting development resources, improve civil servants’ capacity, and enhance manpower training, the Party General Secretary noted.

At the working session, he asked Ca Mau to pay heed to the reinforcement of the Party and the political system, which must be done in a regular, constant and drastic manner.

Local officials reported that in 2016, the prolonged drought and saltwater intrusion greatly affected production activities and people’s life in Ca Mau. However, the authorities and residents made efforts to overcome those difficulties and realise 16 of the 20 set targets.

The aquaculture area expanded to more than 300,000ha, including over 278,000ha of shrimp farming. The total aquatic output surpassed 490,000 tonnes. The areas of harvested summer-autumn rice, sugar cane and crops, along with the numbers of farmed livestock and poultry, in 2016 increased from the previous year. The rate of low-income households under the multidimensional poverty approach dropped to 7.96 percent.

On this occasion, General Secretary Trong offered incense and planted a tree at a commemorative site dedicated to late President Ho Chi Minh in Ca Mau.

On February 20, he visited the culture park of Ca Mau Cape and inspected an embankment in Dat Mui commune of Ngoc Hien district.

The visit to Ca Mau was part of his tour of some Mekong Delta provinces to examine the implementation of socio-economic development and Party building tasks. -VNA