Speaking at a meeting held to discuss the programme in Ha Noi on Thursday, Hung added it must dovetail with other zoning plans so that it boosts not only agricultural and rural development but also the country’s industrialisation and modernisation process.
In a report delivered at the meeting, the chief of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Plant Department, Nguyen Tri Ngoc, said the area under rice last year was 630,000ha more than in 1995, or a 0.7 per cent annual growth rate.
Ngoc said under a programme to restructure agriculture launched by the Government in 2001, some lands not suitable for rice are now used for other crops and aquaculture.
The programme has contributed significantly to the national programme for hunger alleviation and poverty reduction, he said.
But it has been done in an unplanned manner in some areas, resulting in poor output and negative impacts on the environment, he added.
The rice “zoning” programming, drafted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, aims to maintain the area under rice at 4.05 million ha next year before paring it to 3.85 million by 2015, and 3.7 million by 2020.
After 2030, it will be maintained at 3.6 million ha, including 3.2 million for wet-rice cultivation.
Deputy Prime Minister Hung has also asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to work with other ministries and agencies to reform land management at state-owned agro-forestry farms.
In a meeting in Ha Noi on Wednesday, Hung said the reform would help improve the living standards of farm workers and contribute to the socio-economic development of localities.
Despite owning and operating as much as 500,000ha of the country’s total 9.3 million hectares of agricultural land, agro-forestry farms across the country had remained backward with poor performance, MARD Minister Cao Duc Phat said.
The situation has left many farm workers struggling to earn a living.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said at the meeting that the Government should review the situation as well as the role of State farms so that it could determine the allocation of land.
The ministry also suggested that the Government assign the local authority to oversee land use and management at State farms.
“Reorganising and introducing innovation at State farms must bring effective results, and forests must be protected and developed,” Hung said.