9:04:01 AM | 1/10/2014
According to Son La Province’s Party Secretary Truong Quang Nghia, during the first eight months of 2014, Son La’s economy maintained considerable growth; the province’s total product reached VND10,376 billion, an increase of VND1,089 billion, or 38 percent exceeding projection, up 11.7 percent compared to the same period last year; the gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at VND7,119 billion, an increase of 8.93 percent compared to the same period in 2013. Of which, agriculture, forestry and fisheries accounted for 32.1 percent, down 1.1 percent compared with 2012.
In recent years, Son La has focused on promoting advantageous industrial crops and fruit trees toward sustainable development. In particular, the province has cooperated with the Ministry of Finance to assist the Government in the issue of Prime Minister’s Decision 990/QD-TTg on 18th June 2014 on the pilot programme allowing farmers to contribute shares through the rights of using agricultural land to invest in the rubber tree development project in Son La. As projected to 2020, the area of rubber trees in Son La will reach 30,000 hectares, the province will have four latex processing plants and specific villages for rubber workers with adequate infrastructure conditions to promote production and ensure social security. The province will focus on developing fruit trees in accordance to specific ecological conditions of each locality. For example: longan in Song Ma, Quynh Nhai; plum, peach, kaki persimmon in Moc Chau district; and mango, banana in areas along the Da River and Yen Chau district.
During this time, Son La’s livestock sector has also seen significant shifts. With favourable natural conditions for livestock development such as a good number of pastures, huge area of grassland, Son La now has over 2,500 hectares of grass which is projected to reach 5,000 hectares by 2015. This provides a great advantage for the development of grass-fed animals such as cattle and goats. Also, the province has great livestock in terms of both quantity and species diversity, including those of high economic value such as dairy cows, high-quality beef cows; black chicken and porcupine, presenting potential and advantage as well as creating momentum for effective investment into livestock development projects in Son La in the future.
However, it is not synchronous in the work of planting, harvesting, primary processing and purchasing, which weaken the linkages between farmers and enterprises and causes ineffectiveness in provincial economic development. Farmers have yet to develop the ability to foresee price and market demands. When comes the harvest season, they have no choice but to accept the price offered by buyers, even if it’s unsatisfying, for not doing so would cause even more damage as they wouldn’t have the money to pay for the previous season.
Based on the advantages in soil and climate, the province should continue to focus on developing livestock. Currently, Son La milk has become a brand name trusted by consumers. The local agricultural sector should provide support and guidance on technology as well as production process for farmers to help them make a breakthrough in escaping poverty.