A survey released on November 27 reveals a large and persistent gap in development outcomes between residents living in mountainous and lowland regions.

The survey was produced after more than 3,700 households in 12 cities and provinces nationwide were polled last year.

Called Vietnam Access to Resources Household Survey, it has been conducted every two years since 2002.

The latest one shows that income for most rural households continues to come from farming and livestock, especially in the north and central highlands.

In addition, members of small ethnic groups have much lower access to essential goods, such as safe drinking water and high quality housing.

According to the Institute of Policy and Development Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD), farming is still relevant to how households earn income and accumulate wealth, but income from household enterprises and wages is also quickly becoming important.

Luu Duc Khai, an expert from the Central Institute for Economic Management, called on the Government to put resources into improving living standards in rural areas, increase vocational training to meet demands - and provide opportunities for farmers to access credit and loans.

Khai said that the Government must focus on helping those who no longer relied on farming. "We should put resources on training them right in their home town so they can focus on expanding and generating incomes from agricultural production instead of forcing them to seek work in cities," he said.

The survey was produced by the University of Copenhagen, Institute of Labour, Science and Social Affairs, the Central Institute for Economic Management and IPSARD.-VNA