Vietnam needs to pay more attention and invest more in poverty reduction and ensuring food security, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu has said.

At a meeting held in the Red River Delta province of Thai Binh on October 11 in response to World Food Day 2013, Thu said that having realised the importance of agriculture and rural areas, the Government has issued a national programme on building new-style rural areas for the 2010-2020 period.

The celebration of this year’s World Food Day, themed “Sustainable food systems for food security and nutrition,” was held in Kien Xuong district’s Thanh Tan commune, a model new-style rural area with a rate of households living in poverty below 3 percent. It proves that with high determination, Vietnam is capable of reducing poverty, alleviating hunger and building new-style rural areas, Thu said.

She also expressed her hope to receive more support from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), especially for a programme to build new-style rural areas.

Participants at the meeting heard the Government’s report on socio-economic development in 2012 which said that Vietnam had 450,300 households living in hunger, a year-on-year fall of 27.6 percent.

The food storage happened in the northern midland and mountainous region, the northern central and central coastal areas and the Central Highlands. The 2012 poverty rate was about 11.5 percent, down 1.3 percent over 2011.

At present, about 870 million people in the world suffer from malnutrition.

To deal with the problem, FAO Country Chief Representative Jong Ha Bae said there should be intervention activities for agricultural production, natural environment protection, healthcare and education.-VNA