HCMC set to cut red tape for agrarian installations

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A greenhouse at the Hi-tech Agricultural Park in Ho Chi Minh City’s Cu Chi District. VNS/VIET NAM NEWS

Farmers and experts have asked Ho Chi Minh City authorities to remove hindrances and create favourable conditions for residents to build greenhouses and breeding centres on agricultural land used to build nursery gardens.

Du Huy Quang, head of land management division under the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Mineral Resources and Environment, said the Land Law of Vietnam allows the building of agricultural support facilities such as glasshouses and greenhouses on agricultural land typically used to build nursery gardens.

However, farmers faced challenges in transferring land-use purposes, Quang said at a recent seminar held by Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council and Ho Chi Minh City Television (HTV).

Pham Kim Bang, manager at the Business Licensing Division under the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Construction, said the Construction Department has drafted instructions on the construction of agricultural support facilities, which includes two categories of construction works.

The first category includes works that provide nets and favourable conditions for plant varieties and breeding animals. Construction of these works, which use removable materials, must be reported to commune People’s Committees.

Sentry boxes at these nursery gardens must be built with environmentally friendly materials such as trees and thatch. They must have one storey and be under 15m wide and 6m high, with a total area of less than 1,000sqm.

According to figures released by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the city has about 114,000ha of agricultural land, nearly half of the city’s total land area.

It includes about 66,000ha for agricultural production; 35,684ha for silviculture (tree cultivation); and 10,798ha for aquaculture. The city also has more than 25,300 farming households.

Ho Chi Minh City Department of Agriculture and Rural Development deputy director Duong Duc Trong said after nearly 10 years’ operation of the city’s urban agricultural development project, the areas under hi-tech agricultural production had been expanded.

The per capita income of these farmers rose from 25 million dong ($1,100) per year in 2011 to 63 million last year, Trong said.

The city has 130 agricultural cooperatives and is expected to build two to three hi-tech agricultural zones with expected revenues of 900 million dong for each hectare of land, and projected per capita income of 100 million dong for residents in rural areas, Trong added.

Dinh Minh Hiep, head of the management board of the Ho Chi Minh City’s Hi-tech Agricultural Park, said that urban agriculture would be developed with a modern concept of sustainable development, with a focus on the use of hi-tech industries and biotechnologies.

Hiep said the city would build centres for plant varieties and animal breeding which would be provided to southern provinces in Vietnam and neighbouring countries including Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.