More than 30,000 households in the northern mountainous province of Hoa Binh have benefited from a Swiss-funded project to improve public service provision in agriculture.

Under the “Programme on Public Service Provision Improvement in Agriculture and Rural Development” project with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, in 2013 all localities in the province allowed their residents to participate in setting up the 2014 socio-economic development plan.

According to Bui Dang Minh, Vice Chairman of the Ky Son district People’s Committee, the project helps encourage the involvement of local people in discussing and deciding its activities.

It also promotes the responsibility of grassroots sectors and departments, he added.

The project started in Hoa Binh in May 2011, and will continue until May 2015. In the third year, a Communal Department Fund model was applied in 87 communes, directly contributing to reducing poverty and increasing local people’s living standards.

The project also provided about 940,000 USD for 345 activities, focusing on building infrastructure like roads, ditches and water tanks.

The ditches and canals have helped serve agriculture, particularly rice planting, contributing to increasing productivity while reducing locals’ labour.

With a total capital of 4.06 million USD, the project helps expand the planning work with the participation of local people, devolve financial management and improve public services in agricultural and rural development.-VNA