The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) should better popularisation work and raise the whole society’s awareness of the need to develop agriculture and rural areas with farmers playing a key role.

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made the request in Hanoi on Sept. 15 while working with the MARD leaders on the implementation of the 10 th Party Central Committee’s Resolution No. 26 on agriculture, farmers and rural areas.

“In the context of the global financial crisis and economic recession, agriculture has affirmed its important role in maintaining the country’s sustainable socio-economic development,” he said.

He urged for early completing set programmes and projects, regularly supervising and speeding up the implementation of effective models, and timely solving difficulties, especially in mechanisms and policies, so as to create momentums for the development of the Vietnamese agriculture.

He emphasised the necessity for raising the role played by farmers, saying this is an issue of strategic significance to build the Vietnamese farmer class in the period of speeding up the national industrialisation and modernisation process.

The Party chief asked the ministry to better land planning work, define the agricultural economic structure properly on the basis of exploiting the potential and strengths of each locality, and mobilise all social resources for agricultural development.

Regarding the building of new-styled rural areas, General Secretary Trong emphasised the need to develop social infrastructure such as schools and clinics, and protect the ecological environment besides building technical, transport and irrigational infrastructure, ensuring the comprehensive and sustainable development of the Vietnamese agriculture.

After three years of implementing the resolution, the country’s agricultural production has seen a strong and comprehensive development with ensured food security and increased food exports, he noted.

The material and spiritual lives of farmers have been continuously improved, Trong said, adding that building new-styled rural areas has become an ebullient movement throughout the country.

According to MARD Minister Cao Duc Phat, Vietnam ’s food output is expected to reach over 41 million tonnes this year. In the first eight months of this year, agro-forestry-seafood exports fetched 16 billion USD.

Over the past three years, tens of thousands of kilometres of rural roads have been built and upgraded and 95.4 percent of households have gained access to electricity. The nation’s poverty rate dropped to 9.45 percent while the rate in rural areas was only 11.3 percent.

The farm economy has developed rapidly with 135,000 farms nationwide.

Total investment for agricultural and rural development has reached nearly 290 trillion VND, accounting for 52 percent of the country’s total development investment./.