As a poor province with a low starting point, Quang Tri province has managed to obtain good outcomes in its rural development.
From the grassroots
To engage the entire political system and to accelerate new countryside development, in early 2019, the Executive Board of the Provincial Party Committee of Quang Tri province issued Notice 605-TB/TU requesting Party cadres administered by the Provincial Party Committee not to have Saturdays off but go to localities to press on new countryside development and motivational projects. Earlier, the Quang Tri Provincial Party Committee also promulgated Resolution 04-NQ/TU dated April 20, 2017, on accelerating agricultural restructuring and the National Target Program on New Countryside Construction in 2017-2020.
Mr. Nguyen Van Hung, Secretary of the Quang Tri Provincial Party Committee, said, the “Saturdays for new countryside” and “Saturdays for motivational projects” movements have fundamentally changed the awareness of cadres and civil servants who not only worked in regulatory service time but readily worked on Saturdays and Sundays to fulfil their tasks. This is an opportunity for each officer to have more experience and knowledge to help the grassroots cope with challenges and overcome difficulties.
In the coming time, the province will strive to have 55-60% of poor villages in poor communes and border communes listed in Project 1385 to meet new countryside standards. In the longer period (2025 - 2030), Quang Tri will endeavor to have 85% of communes and one more district to meet the standards. To achieve these goals, the province will continue to boost communications on new countryside and review and revise rural development plans at all levels to work out the overall deployment plan for each year and the whole period. Quang Tri will also give priority to support value chain linkages, especially organic agricultural production; define the One Commune One Product (OCOP) program as a key task to speed up new countryside construction and agricultural restructuring. “For certified communes, we will regularly review them to maintain and improve the quality of new countryside construction. We must be certain that certified communes must be true in nature and the status is measured by public satisfaction. We will never choose to follow the number of achieved targets but their nature, as we really want to make the countryside a worthy living place,” he said.
A Doi commune in Huong Hoa district, Quang Tri province, is an extremely poor remote border locality, located about 40 km south of the district center. A Doi is home to different ethnic groups like the Pa Co, Van Kieu and Kinh people. The Van Kieu people account for 65.3% of the commune's population. Mr. Ho Xa Cach, Chairman of A Doi Commune People's Committee, said, “The poverty rate is 46% and the commune has completed only nine out of 19 new countryside construction criteria. In 2020, A Doi will endeavor to have 16 criteria achieved, with Dong Tam and Khanh Thanh villages particularly reaching the village-level standards”. He told us about hardships in carrying out new countryside construction in a border commune, stating inadequate infrastructure, inconvenient transportation, underdeveloped economy, low per capita income and high poverty rate.
It is very difficult for the commune to mobilize investment resources, especially from organizations, businesses and the people. We visited Ly Van Chinh in Dong Tam village who has more than one ha of rubber. By growing rubber trees, his family can build a strong spacious house. Each year, his family earns VND50-60 million from selling rubber latex. Pointing to the concrete road in front of his house, Chinh said, “This road was built under the new countryside program. It has facilitated human travelling and commodity transportation.”
Coming to Vinh Moc, an unbeatable wartime stronghold and a current leader in new countryside in Quang Tri province, Mr. Nguyen Duc Dien, Secretary of the Party Committee of Kim Thach commune (Vinh Linh district), excitedly said, Kim Thach was established by merging Vinh Kim and Vinh Thach communes in March 2020. “We determined that, to build a new sustainable countryside, the people must have jobs and higher incomes. For that reason, we have focused on agricultural restructuring, with priority given to locally advantageous crops and livestock like rubber (500 ha) and pepper (280 ha) which grow well on basaltic red soil, cows and aquatic creatures,” he noted.
Duong Van Tai from An Le village, Kim Thach commune took us to visit a one-ha pepper garden, which was about to be harvested, saying that "This year, my family harvested about three tons of pepper and sold for about VND150 million. We earn VND300 million more from other crops.” The new countryside program is giving a facelift to the countryside landscape. “That is the pride of our commune, he said.
By Duy Anh, Vietnam Business Forum