Traders buy rice harvested at a paddy field in Hau Giang province. (Source: VNA)
The land accumulation process should not deprive farmers of their livelihoods and force them into unemployment, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said at a conference in Vinh Phuc province on April 14th.
The process should ensure farmers’ benefits, he stressed.
The conference in the northern province aimed to find solutions to promote land accumulation so as to reap economies of scale in agricultural production, boosting industrialisation and modernisation of the sector.
It was attended by representatives of many localities and enterprises as well as the ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and Natural Resources and Environment.
Representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said at the conference that land accumulation was being implemented very slowly.
Scattered, small-sized land lots hindered locals and enterprises from making long-term investments in agriculture, they said.
The average land area owned by agricultural households is about 0.46 hectares and each household owns 2.83 lots on average, which is lower than in China and many other Asian countries.
They also said that in many cases, accumulated land had not been used effectively.
There was a general lack of awareness among officials and farmers on the necessity for land accumulation for large scale production, the conference heard.
Speakers also said that land accumulation for agricultural development had not been properly linked with the economy of farming households, co-operatives, enterprises, sci-tech applications and the market.
Deputy PM Dung said that the household economy, with scattered and small land lots no longer matched the need to develop agriculture on a large scale with high-quality, competitive produce.
Promoting land accumulation and applying advanced technology on large-scale farms would improve the capacity, quality and competitiveness of the agricultural sector in particular, and the Vietnamese economy in general, he added.
He said the Party and the State are paying due attention to agriculture, rural areas and farmers, as they are the foundation for ensuring social stability, eradicating poverty and reducing hunger, thereby contributing to the nation’s development.
He reiterated that the agricultural economy was a “first priority” for the State with household economy as its driving force.
Over the last several years, there had been many changes in land policies to tighten land-use management, he said.
The need for efficient agricultural production should be analysed to find out where land accumulation was needed and where it should be dispersed, the Deputy PM said.
“We must carefully study impacts of land accumulation on society, agriculture and the environment, especially the relaxation of land limits, to ensure benefits of the State and its subjects, farmers in particular,” he said.
He urged those attending the conference to find solutions to conflicts between land accumulation and local livelihood stability, and also study effective land accumulation models.
After due analysis, measures must be taken to initiate “various types of land accumulation and shift to creating jobs and improving lives of locals while ensuring that accumulated land lots have high productivity, high competitiveness, and deliver benefits to farmers,” he said./.