The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has proposed that localities focus on consolidating and developing community agricultural extension models and the models to become the main force of the Vietnamese agricultural sector at the grassroots level.
On April 14, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development sent a document to the People’s Committees of the provinces and centrally-run cities on promoting agricultural extension work.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam’s agricultural extension system has continuously developed, grown and matured. This is after 30 years of operation, with the attention and direction of the Party, Government, ministries and branches at the central level, and local Party committees and authorities at all levels. This is an outcome of the close coordination and cooperation of scientific and technological research agencies, socio-political organizations, as well as domestic and international NGOs,
The agricultural extension system has played an important role at all levels in conveying the guidelines and policies of the Party and State on agriculture, farmers and the rural areas, in order to bring them into life. Since then, the system has contributed to a profound change in the production structure and the production levels in farming, forestry and fishery on a large scale, all geared towards commodity production. The agricultural extension force has also played an important role in poverty reduction, natural disaster prevention and control as well as environmental protection, developing rural infrastructure and vocational training for rural workers.
Resolution No.19-NQ/TW, dated June 16, 2022 of the 13th Party Central Committee on ‘agriculture, farmers and rural areas to 2030,’ with a vision ‘to 2045,’ the Party and State have guidelines and orientations on agricultural extension development in the coming period. These include: “to strongly renovate the form of organization and activities of agricultural extension, develop electronic agricultural extension, community agricultural extension, follow the commodity chain, and digitally transform,” and develop, the agricultural sector. It is also our aim to provide efficient and sustainable agriculture in the direction of ecological agriculture, modern rural areas, and civilized farmers.”
In order to continue to develop the agricultural extension force in the coming times, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development proposed that localities pay attention to direct and promote agricultural extension work. In particular, they should focus on consolidating and developing community agricultural extension models to become the main force of the agricultural sector at the grassroots level. This is in association with the development of large-scale and qualified agro-forestry and fishery areas.
The localities ought to pay attention to directing, guiding and orienting community agricultural extension groups to operate effectively, focusing on the main content and tasks: i.e. to grasp the situation of agricultural production and transfer knowledge and techniques to farmers.
Other decrees include, supporting the state management of agriculture in the locality (including agriculture, farmers and rural areas), consulting, offering services, promoting agricultural product trade, offering market connections and providing market information on prices for farmers.
For the 13 provinces under the pilot project, the decree read: “To improve the effectiveness of agricultural extension activities on the basis of perfecting the model of community agricultural extension groups,” it is recommended to continue paying attention to directing the implementation according to the contents of the proposed project. For the provinces not under the scheme, based on the preliminary results and 1-year experience at implementing the pilot scheme, localities need to apply the model of community extension groups suitable to the given local conditions.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development proposed that localities pay attention to directing and promoting agricultural extension work. In particular, thet should focus on consolidating and developing community agricultural extension models.
In addition, diversifying the forms of agricultural extension activities, developing agricultural production service activities at the grassroots levels, expanding the system of enterprise agricultural extension, cooperative agricultural extension and community agricultural extension, e.t.c., are all essentials for meeting the needs of production and the market.
Paying attention to the training and fostering of professional knowledge, market knowledge, production organization, digital technology, e.t.c. for grassroots and community agricultural extension officers, is also critical. In this regard, the National Center for Agricultural Extension is the focal point to advise and implement training and capacity building for local agricultural extension staff at all levels.
Ultimately, giving attention to the material and spiritual life of grassroots’ agricultural extension workers, supporting appropriate mechanisms and policies, and creating conditions for extension workers to work long-term and stick to the profession, are all necessary requirements. At the same time, there is need to strengthen the connection of the agricultural extension system under the motto “where there are farmers, there are agricultural extensions.”