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Soc Trang after 3 years of production development project - Program 135 phase II: incomplete happiness

Up to now, there are 41 extreme difficult communes in zone III and 33 difficult communes in zone II with 98 hamlets which have been invested by Program 135 phase II (2006 - 2010). While poor people really need budget for production, there are VND 5 billions arrearage in total budget of VND 19.78 billions for production development supporting that has been apportioned in period 2006 - 2008.

One crop delayed - one more year in poor

Mr. Dinh Van Nghia - Vice Director of Planning and Development Department, Head of Program 135 Management in Soc Trang province said: “Production support project is seasonal. Thus, if one crop delayed, people will be in poor one more year. I wonder if local authorities did not understand clearly the spirit of program or they had no need of budget for production and left a large budget arrearage. Having sympathy for Mr. Nghia’s views, Mr. To Ngoc Tuan - Deputy Department Head of Rural Development Department said in dissatisfied voice: “The program has been implemented 2/3 its road, however the budget is still VND 5 billions arrearage. If we do not use the budget in full, it will be cut down by the Government and the poor in province will be at a disadvantage”.

Among provinces having budget arrearage in period 2006 - 2008, My Xuyen district “has been in the top” with VND 2.634 billions arrearage, making up more than 80% total of apportioned budget in this period, Long Phu district has 33% budget arrearage, Nga Nam with 14.64%, Thanh Tri with 27.44%, Cu Lao Dung with 14.41%...

According to explanation of Mr. Trieu Cong Danh - Head of My Xuyen Agriculture and Rural Development Department, regarding to the budget that local commune is the investor, because of strict rules of program, many communes has been confused to implement while the budget that district is the investor, it has been approved ploddingly!? With regard to this problem, Mr. To Ngoc Tuan pointed out: “This is the budget for production supporting. Thus the counseling division for People Committee to implement state management function must be Agriculture and Rural Development Department. However, some districts like: My Xuyen, Nga Nam, Vinh Chau … have transferred the responsibility to Economic Infrastructure Department, Project Management Board or Program 135 Management Department. That is not specialized and wrong target counseling. Thus, the budget has not been disbursed or with not effective result if any”.

Incompatible model

Incompatible model for investment in several areas is also an urgent issue and influences to the project effects. In 2 years 2006 - 2007, Nga Nam district focused to breed cows only. It was really unsuitable with soil conditions here and breeding custom of local people.

With the same model of cows breeding, Mr. Pham Quoc Ngu - Vice Chairman of Ke Thanh People Committee (Ke Sach) shown that it was not effective because the poor households have worked for their living and had no time for breeding cows. They would sell as soon as they had difficulties whereas Vinh Chau district invested to too many models but less practicability.
Mr. To Ngoc Tuan said: “There is risk in implementation because of incompatible models. Moreover, there are many beneficiaries in wrong priority policies leading to the dissatisfaction of people”.

To solve this existing problems, Mr. Dinh Van Nghia proposed: “Management system must be strengthened at local areas and agricultural supporting programs should be combined for a better effects of the project. Specially, planning task need have opinions from community, especially the beneficiary of program in order to enhance the effect and supervision of community, front and union”….

News and photo: Thach Ngoc
[Translator: Thuy Nga]

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