The science and technology application programme serving socio-economic development in rural and mountainous areas has contributed remarkably to improving local living conditions, said Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan.

Minister Quan made the announcement in his speech at a conference in Hanoi on June 18 to review the implementation of the programme over the last 15 years.

Implemented in 62 provinces and cities across the country, the programme aims to promote production, increase the quality and competitiveness of farm products, assist with poverty reduction efforts and generate jobs for local communities in remote areas.

During the period, as many as 845 projects were carried out under the programme, building 2,501 production models applying scientific and technological advances with the involvement of over 80 science and technology agencies from central to local levels.

The conference revealed that more than 11,000 local-level technicians and 236,000 farmers were provided with training courses on science and technology application, while around 128,500 labourers found employment as a result of the application.

Over 1.7 trillion VND (78.2 million USD), including 700 billion VND from the State budget and 1 trillion VND from businesses and households, was spent running the programme.

Quan said in the next ten years, the programme will focus on the production of key farm products such as high-quality rice, catfish and mushrooms for use as food and medicine.

From 2016-2020, the ministry plans to build another 1,000 production models suitable with rural and mountainous areas.-VNA