Gia Lai Agriculture with Diversified and Sustainable Development

10:48:44 AM | 25/1/2006

In recent times, Gia Lai has boosted the industrialisation and modernisation of agriculture and rural areas. The province has created the driving force to speed up agro-forestry production, contributing to general economic growth.
The agriculture of Gia Lai has shifted from self-sufficient to commodity-oriented production. The province has formulated specialised production zones with competitive advantages in the country and exports like rice in An Phu and Ayun Pa, sugarcane in An Khe and Ayun Pa, cashew nut, tobacco and sesame in Krong Pa, pepper, coffee and rubber in Chu Se. The application of technical - scientific progresses to agro-forestry production has been actively responded, especially in the seeds and breeds selection with new varieties of water and dry rice, cross-bred maize for increasing the yield. In addition, short and long-term industrial crops, the strength of Gia Lai, have been developed rapidly, creating stable material sources for the processing industry.
The GDP in the agro-forestry sector is developing constantly at a rather high rate: 12.5 percent in 1996-2000 and over 8 percent in 2001-2005, contributing to ensuring food security. Some farm produce have substantial market shares and have built up the trade marks of high competitiveness such as the tea of Bau Can and Bien Ho, tobacco and cashew nut of Krong Pa, coffee, rubber and material forests in An Khe, Mang Yang and K Bang, MDF wood in An Khe.
In livestock breeding, the province has accelerated investment, especially in cattle breeding. The cow herd in the province has 278,864 heads including 34 percent cross-bred cows. The value of livestock breeding makes up 7 percent in the agriculture structure and is becoming the important sector in Gia Lai economy.
The forestry activities have been synchronously carried out from planting to managing, exploiting and developing the forest reserves. The forests in the province have been well protected with the coverage rate of 49.8 percent.
However, the agro-forestry production has met many difficulties and obstacles. The main reason is the habit of monoculture, scattered and self-sufficient production. The investment in rural industrial production is still limited. The production efficiency in farm product processing is not high due to small and scattered production scale.
For maintaining the agriculture ratio of 38 percent in the next five years, then 37 percent by 2015 in the general economic structure while ensuring the annual growth rate of 7.7 percent, Gia Lai is implementing big measures like checking and adjusting the planning on agro-forestry and aquatic production, rural crafts and services in the direction of commodity production in the link with the market as well as diversifying farm produces for sector’s restructure, maintaining stable and sustainable development.
The concrete objectives are as follows: stabilising 70,000 hectares of rubber and increasing to 100,000 hectares; developing 70,000 hectares of coffee in the link with intensive cultivation, seeds improvement and processing facility development; growing 20,000 hectares of cashew nut, 3,400 hectares of pepper and 1,800 hectares of tea in the western areas of the province; cultivating 25,000 hectares of rice in the eastern areas to reach total food production of 600,000 tonnes.
For animal husbandry, developing the livestock suitable to ecological conditions of each region; fostering the cattle rearing, especially cows: 400,000 heads with over 45 percent of cross-bred cows; pigs: 450,000 heads with 60 percent lean pigs as well as developing aquatic production and bee raising.
For forestry, planting 30,000 hectares of forests; exploiting 25,000 cubic metres of wood from natural forests; giving forestry land to the community living near forests on contract basis; trying to increase the forest coverage to more than 65 percent.
To obtain these objectives, some supporting mechanisms and policies should be implemented. The province should work out the development programmes for main products and finish granting the certificate of land use to households and fostering farm economy development. The credit mechanism for rural citizens, especially poor households should be completed. The agricultural production methods and rural economy will be innovated in the direction of developing multi-sector economy in the link to specialisation, concentration and cooperation to seek the market for agro-forestry and aquatic products as well as non-agricultural services.  
Director of Department of Agriculture and Rural Development