[hepr-vn] Is it feasible to reduce 1 million rural workers a year?
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Sat Jul 5 04:29:52 EST 2008
Updated, 07/04/2008, 13:30 GMT
Is it feasible to reduce 1 million rural workers a year?
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cao Duc Phat, has said that in
the 2008-2020 period vocational training centres will train 1-1.1 million rural
workers annually to bring the current level of 25 million rural labourers down
to 17 million by 2020.
Only 17 percent of farmers know how to grow rice?
Quoting a recent survey in Gia Lam district, on the outskirts of Hanoi and
northern Bac Ninh province, associate professor Tran Duc Vien, head of
Agricultural University, reported that only 17 percent of farmers know how to
Mr Vien said people think growing rice is very easy but it is not true. The
biggest obstacle is that nobody cares about farming when it is not respected in
Mr Vien added that currently Vietnam exports around 3 million guest workers. If
each of them saves US$200 a month, together they will amass US$7.2 billion a
year, equal to annual overseas Vietnamese remittance and nearly equal to the
total of national agricultural exports in recent years. However, millions of
farmers have not been trained to work abroad.
Nong Thi Thanh Tam, vice chairwoman of the northern Cao Bang provincial People’s
Committee, expressed her concerns about human resources training in rural areas.
Mrs Tam said Cao Bang province does not have enough vocational training centres
Minister Phat said that in the 2000-2005 period around 20 percent of workers
were illiterate and did not finish primary school. Hence the number of qualified
workers was 16.88 percent. The number of farmers who attended training courses
on agriculture and forestry was only 17.67 percent. This poses a great challenge
to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to reach the targets
for qualified non-agricultural labourers and qualified agricultural labourers
which accounts for 60 percent and 40 percent of the total workforce by 2020.
Granting scholarships to 1 million farmers’ children?
The MARD estimated that the country has more than 25 million agricultural
labourers, accounting for 55.7 percent of the country’s total workers and each
year around 600,000 people reach working age. By 2020 when Vietnam becomes
industrialised country it will have around 17 million rural workers. Therefore,
each year, more than one million workers in rural areas need to be trained in
order to move to non-agricultural sectors. The number of workers who need
training in the agro-forestry and aquaculture sector is estimated at 600,000 a
year. The industrial and handicraft sector also need about 440,000 trained
workers a year while rural areas annually employ around 60,000 officials.
For the time being, training centres across the country can only train
600,000-700,000 skilled workers a year under both short-term and long-term
courses mainly di\ue to poor infrastructure facilities and teaching and learning
equipment, as well as poor incentive policies for disadvantaged rural workers in
mountainous and remote areas.
Minister Phat proposed that annual scholarships should be granted to one million
farmers’ children. It is essential to develop training programmes for rural farm
workers. It is also necessary to allocate more funding to the national target
education programmes and short-term training courses for farmers themselves.
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan, who is also Minister of Education and
Training, said: “Human resources training is a must for rural agriculture’s
modernization and industrialisation process. We cannot provide training services
to every farmer but if we have 17 million farmers in 2020, then we have to train
one million farmers who in turn can help to train other remaining farmers”.
Establishing a university for farmers?
Prof. Academic Dao The Tuan, Chairman of the Scientific Association for
Agricultural Development, said that he is working with a number of domestic
universities to set up a university specially for farmers.
He explained: “Vietnam’s rate of students per capita is two times higher than
that of China. In fact, many graduates are not even employed yet, while
provinces want to establish more universities. Hence, I want to set up a
university that will focus on providing training courses for farmers.”
According to Mr Tuan, many kinds of services can be provided for farmers. These
services include market development, trademark development, quality management,
cooperatives organisation, tourism services, environment services and training
courses for craft villages. “A farmers’ university will provide all of these
services for farmers, and even for officers and leaders of the farmers’
organisations,” he added.
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