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Rural development Programme to build ‘new' rural areas successful

   10/6/2010

The living standards of people in a suburban HCM City commune have risen in the one year since it became part of a national programme to usher in a "new" lifestyle in rural areas, a local leader said. In Tan Thong Hoi Commune in Cu Chi District, the infrastructure and people's livelihoods had improved, Phan Thi Cam Nhung, deputy chairwoman of the commune People's Committee, said. "The task of replacing dilapidated and temporary houses has been completed as targeted by the programme," she said. In 2008 Tan Thong Hoi was chosen as one of 11 communes nation-wide to participate in the programme to "build new rural areas." It aims to develop infrastructure and production, improve livelihoods and culture, protect the environment, and create a basic political system. Nhung said the commune provided vocational training for young people, loans for farmers to grow flowers and raise dairy cows, and generally encouraged farming and animal husbandry. Phan Thi Hoang Anh, 47, a resident of the commune's Chanh Hamlet, said she was chosen to receive training and loans to grow orchids. She now grows 2,000 orchids and has a stable livelihood. The commune has worked with the city's Sub-department of Rural Development to help farmers raise dairy cows and grow clean vegetables. It has also co-operated with the Sai Gon Agriculture Incorporation to guarantee outlets for farmers growing red chilly and eggplant. As a result, the yearly average per capita income in the commune rose to VND22.4 million last June compared to VND17.8 million a year earlier, according to the HCM City Statistics Bureau. The poverty rate has been pared from 22 per cent to 12.4 per cent. Also as of June the commune had fulfilled 12 of the 19 criteria set under the programme, including those related to transport, irrigation, housing, poverty, and political and social security. The commune hopes to complete zoning plans, including for infrastructure and environmental protection, by the end of this year. It targets fulfilling all 19 criteria next year. Model expansion Later in 2009 the city selected five more communes in outlying districts to implement the programme. They are Thai My in Cu Chi District, Xuan Thoi Thuong in Hoc Mon District, Tan Nhut in Binh Chanh District, Nhon Duc in Nha Be District, and Ly Nhon in Can Gio District. They too have turned in significant results relating to the economy, culture, and society. In Thai My, authorities have created jobs, provided loans, and trained people in production and business, thus managing to cut the poverty rate. Bui Ngoc Quy, chairman of the Xuan Thoi Thuong People's Committee, said living standards of locals had improved and all houses had access to the national power grid. However, the communes face a shortage of funds for implementing the programme since the city only provided them with VND10 billion each in the first phase to meet construction costs. Nhon Duc has spent VND3 billion to hire consultants, file technical reports, and carry out works like repairing the main road linking it with Long Thoi Commune. Nguyen Thi Hoang Oanh, chairwoman of the Nhon Duc People's Committee, wondered if the remaining VND7 billion would be enough for the rest of the works envisaged under the.

VNS
10/6/2010

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