|Vo Van Chien, a 70 year - old farmer in Hong Ngu town’s Binh Thanh commune, said thanks to the programme, the town has got a good road network linking hamlets and communes and an excellent irrigation system.
The programme, launched by the Government in 2010, sets out 19 criteria for building new-style rural areas such as planning, transportation, electricity, irrigation, healthcare, culture, education, environment and social order.
In Dong Thap province, 55 of 119 communes have achieved all 19 criteria, according to the local steering committee for the programme.
Nearly 100 percent of people in these communes have access to electricity and the rate of schools meeting national standards is 75-100 percent.
Vo Van Chien, a 70 year - old farmer in Hong Ngu town’s Binh Thanh commune, said thanks to the programme, the town has got a good road network linking hamlets and communes and an excellent irrigation system.
The province has undertaken many projects and measures for economic development and helped farmers apply them to agricultural production, he said.
Chien’s family breeds mud carps and bighead carps during the flood season under a province project to improve flood drainage, develop livelihoods and adapt to climate change in the Dong Thap Muoi (Plain of Reed) region.
In Soc Trang province, Thanh Quoi last month became the last commune in My Xuyen district to achieve all 19 criteria.
The district’s average per capita income has increased to 42.5 million VND (1,830 USD), 3.5 times the 2011 figure.
Dao Dac Hung, vice chairman of the Xuyen My district People’s Committee, said rural areas have improved significantly, especially in planning, production and agriculture restructuring.
“Rural areas have extensive and modern infrastructure.”
Hundreds of households in the district have together donated more than 500,000sq.m of land for building infrastructure, he said.
The delta’s 12 provinces and Can Tho city have mobilised capital from public and private sources for the new-style rural area programme.
Vinh Long province mobilised 7.13 trillion VND (306.4 million USD), including 1.3 trillion VND from communities, companies and organisations in 2011-19.
But despite all this, many challenges remain, including gaps in infrastructure and the impacts of climate change, according to the central steering office of the national programme.
The ratio of delta communes that meet all 19 criteria is 40.6 percent while the national average is 48.7 percent.
The impacts of climate change cause saltwater intrusion, soil erosion, subsidence and flooding, affecting people’s lives and production.
The delta is the country’s largest rice, fruit and seafood producer.
The delta has developed many farming models to adapt to climate change and improve production efficiency.
They include farmer's clubhouses in Dong Thap and the polyculture of raising rice, vegetables and animals on coastal sand dunes and in brackish water in Soc Trang, Tra Vinh and Ben Tre provinces.
Under the farmer clubhouse model in Dong Thap, established in 2016, farmers who grow the same crop participate voluntarily in a group known as a farmer’s clubhouse to compare notes.
Nguyen Thanh Hung, vice chairman of the Dong Thap provincial People’s Committee, said the province has 80 farmer’s clubhouses with more than 4,000 members.
This model has helped promote economic development and self-management in the community, he added.
Tra Vinh province has developed a model of planting mangrove forests in coastal areas and breeding aquatic species in the forests to provide farmers with an extra income.
The delta has been implementing the Government’s One Commune-One Product programme since 2018 to develop strong agricultural and non-agricultural products and services.
Dong Thap has chosen flour products in Sa Dec city and Chau Thanh district, lotus-related products in Thap Muoi district, pink mandarin in Lai Vung district, and dried snakehead fish in Hong Ngu town and Tam Nong district under the programme.
It targets at least 50 percent of its 61 traditional products - mostly food and beverages, garments, souvenirs, household items, and rural tourism products - meeting the programme’s standards by next year.
An Giang province has chosen 10 products like herbal medicines, food and beverages, and tourism to achieve three-star standards under the programme.
Truong Kien Tho, deputy director of the province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the programme is suitable and necessary for building new-style rural areas and restructuring agriculture.
It would help the province boost the process of building new-style rural areas, he said.
The province plans to focus on promoting the selected products through various channels, including online.