Boosting Mekong Delta sustainable development

Tuesday, 2019-05-07 11:09:01
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Illustrative image. (baotainguyenmoitruong.vn)
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NDO – After more than a year of implementing the Government’s resolution 120/NQ-CP on the sustainable development of the Mekong Delta in response to climate change, up to now, the Mekong Delta has gained a number of achievements.

In 2018, the Mekong Delta continued to be Vietnam's leading area in the production of rice, shrimp, catfish and fruit, creating export turnover of around US$ 8.43 billion, accounting for 20% of the country's agricultural export turnover.

Many areas specialising in key agricultural products have gradually been formed, the production structure continued to be adjusted in a more appropriate and effectively fashion, in association with the market demand, better adaption to climate change, and ensured quality and competitiveness. The production structure shifted towards increasing fisheries, fruit and husbandry, while reducing rice cultivation areas.

According to experts, the results are thanks to the synchronous participation of the ministries and branches concerned, as well as the provinces and cities in the Mekong Delta. However, the process of implementation has also faced certain difficulties, including the impact of climate change, which affected the structure of crops, caused productivity changes, and epidemics increased. Unreasonable points in the economic development in the Mekong Delta such as intensive cultivation of three crops, forest resource depletion, exploitation of sand, gravel and groundwater resources, and the construction of infrastructure and residential houses along the banks of rivers along with other economic activities also caused great damage to the delta and sustainable development. Besides, policies, strategies and planning have not kept pace with the rapid development of the market, while industry, services and transportation have not yet supported agriculture effectively.

The regional linkage is limited, while encouraging private investment has not been effective. The capacity of local officials and farmers remains weak, and the ability to research and apply science and technology to reality is still small. Market development and trade promotion is not good. Sustainable production models, climate change adaptation are spontaneous, small, fragmented and have no technical and market base or strong motivation and support to replicate. The new rural construction programme is slower than the national average, with unsustainable quality. The rate of poor households is high, while the gap between rich and poor areas is large. Non-agricultural employment lacks sustainability.

In order to overcome the shortcomings, it is necessary to continue to implement some effective solutions such as: reviewing and adjusting the regional and provincial planning in the direction of multidisciplinary integration, associated with the master plan on development of industry, service, transportation, electricity, water, urban and residential. It is necessary to enhance regional connectivity; mobilise integrated resources for sustainable agricultural development to adapt to climate change; innovate production organisation and value chain development. It is necessary to develop programmes on promoting land accumulation, attracting investment in chain development; projects to cope with extreme floods, flood drainage; treating water pollution, regenerating underground water sources and supplying fresh water; forest protection and development. It is necessary to enhance the application of science and technology, improving the capacity of natural resources and environmental management and pilot and replicate smart climate adaptation models. It is necessary to build a new rural scheme for the Mekong Delta with specific criteria and new-style rural models at communes and districts.

The plan will be a foundation for the future of the Mekong Delta to sustainably, safely and prosperously develop on the foundation of high-quality agriculture in combination with services, ecological tourism, and industry, especially the processing industry, which will help to increase the value and competitiveness of agricultural products. The infrastructure system of the delta will set up a master plan for sustainable development in the Mekong Delta while adapting to climate change.