Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has issued an instruction requiring the heads of Party committees and administrations at all levels to personally direct the implementation of the national target programme on new-style rural area building.

Directive 18/CT-TTg stresses that the programme is the decisive factor for the sustainable development of agriculture and rural areas.

All ministries and sectors must focus on enhancing the quality of agriculture planning basing on the advantages and key products of each region, ensuring regional connectivity and forming a sustainable production system of agricultural goods.

The building of new-style rural areas should be implemented in parallel with the restructuring of the agricultural sector and the application of scientific and technological advances to agricultural production, said the directive.

More preferential policies should be offered to encourage investment in the agricultural sector, especially in remote areas and islands.

Public-private partnership models will be expanded, while farmers, cooperatives and businesses should be given better access to capital.

The Prime Minister also assigned ministries and localities to build and realise programmes to support the development of key products in poor areas, while vocational training for rural labourers must be improved in quality to meet the requirement of businesses and localities.

Localities are also instructed to allocate an adequate amount of budget for the programme and are banned from requiring local people make compulsory contributions to the programme.

The national target programme on new-style rural area building, which was launched in 2010, has set 19 national criteria for new rural areas, which cover building infrastructure, improving production capacity, building public works, protecting landscape and environment, and promote local traditions and cultural identities.

So far, 185 communes nationwide have achieved all 19 criteria for new rural areas and nearly 600 others have met between 15-18 criteria. On average, each commune has fulfilled 8.47 criteria compared to 4.7 in 2011.-VNA