The working team (including staff of Research Department on Rural Economic Development Policies – headed by Vice President of CIEM, Dr. Le Xuan Ba) worked with leaderships of Provincial People Committees, Departments, and branches of the two localities, listening to reports on their difficulties and existing problems, as well as their achievements over the last 4 years of implementing policies and mechanisms on rural development. The working team also gave explanation, contributive ideas, and advises so as to help llocalities taking initiative in resolving some difficulties confronted during their policy implementation process.
Given results of the survey on the 2001 -2004 implementation of rural development policies by these localities in practice, feedbacks of departments and branches mostly focus on following issues:
-Cultivate land of the two provinces remains fragment; in average, each household use 6-7 pieces of field. Thanh Hoa province has applied the work of exchanging rice-fields but this has just concentrated inplain areas, even though the province has been nationwide considered the best in carrying out this work. While in the province of Thai Nguyen, rice-field exchanging faced numerous difficulties. There are no land-use right markets here.
-Information supply in terms of agricultural production inputs and outputs: therehave been no agencies or individuals who come forward and manage this activity. Farmers themselves don’t have enough conditions to access markets, skills of using information exploiting tools of local cadres remain poor, while information plays a crucial role. This explains why agricultural production activities of the two provinces remain spontaneous and self-supplying, but not market-oriented.
-Investing in rural infrastructure constructionrequires large funds. In practice, however, some works having constructed are not efficient in usage. Thus, it’s necessary to define which projects, and which communes should be given priority, avoiding … investment. At the same time, it’s necessary to pay attention to exploiting and maintaining these works.
-Capital mobilized in these localities is not much, because of low income per capita, saving capital among residents is relatively poor, mostly tapped from short – term savings. Funds for development investments are limited, provincial budget revenues are not enough for fiscal payments. In addition, prices of some products made by the provinces depreciate while prices of some inputs appreciate, their markets are getting smaller, causing critical difficulties for production and business operation.
-Limited application of science and technology advancements in agricultural production, there are no science – technology markets established. The main reasons are weak capacity of farmers to absorb new technology, and light budget for conducting research and setting up demonstrative models of technology advancements.
-Training and job creating for rural laborers in the two provinces confront many difficulties in reality. It’s popular as trained laborers are not employed.
-The two provinces have worked out plan for, and established industrial zones of small and medium size, promoting rural industries. However, non-farm activities in rural areas are limited; some traditional industries have not fully developed. Some industrial zones and clusters are not attractive to investors as expected.
-Structural transform of agriculture production takes place in a sluggish way, fails to catch up with market demand fluctuation. The two provinces have not defined appropriate crop and livestock structures on the basis of exploiting their potentials and advantages.