The central province of Thua Thien-Hue targets the declaration of 11 additional communes as new-style rural areas in 2015, double the 2014 figure.

Nguyen Van Cao, Chairman of the provincial People Committee and Head of the provincial Steering Committee on the National Target Program on New Rural Development, said that the province will prioritise difficult-to-achieve criteria such as infrastructure for culture, education, traffic, environment, irrigational construction and fresh water.

Together with investment capital sourced from the State budget, the province has mobilised nearly 1.78 trillion VND (83.4 million USD) to build essential infrastructure for production while arranging nearly 5.4 billion VND (253,000 USD) to support production development.

To complete the electricity criteria, the province invested in the energy grid in 92 rural communities, thus promoting technology transfer and enhancing labour capacity.

The province also studied and transferred 32 agricultural models, 46 breeding models, 14 fishery models and 5 brand name development support models to locals.

As a result of these initiatives, the income per capita of residents in the communes reached 20.7 million VND (971 USD), a yearly increase of 24 percent, while the poverty rate stood at 6.64 percent, down nearly 1.8 percent from 2013.

Other communes in the province are also implementing measures to meet the criteria, focusing on popularisation, mobilisation, awareness-raising of authorities and especially encouraging resident involvement in the new-style area construction.
At the outset of 2015, set of 19 criteria for new rural development was satisfied by 9 communes in the locality, of which two communes were granted recognition as new-style rural areas.

Huong Hoa commune in Nam Dong mountainous district has recently become the first locality to be presented with the recognition. The local income per capita reached over 23 million VND (1,095 USD) and poverty rate is below 1.5 percent, spurred by garden-based and forest economic development.

The national programme on building new-style rural areas, initiated by the Government in 2010, includes 19 criteria on socio-economic development, politics, and defence, aiming to boost rural regions of Vietnam.

The list of criteria includes the development of infrastructure, the improvement of production capacities, environmental protection, and the promotion of cultural values.-VNA