However, the percentage of communes which meet the new rural development standard in these two regions remains lower, only 42.41%, than the national rate.
The final evaluation report reveals that after 10 years’ implementation of the program, 604/1,424 communes in the South Central Coast and Central Highlands have been recognized to meet new rural development standard, consisting 378/825 communes in the South Central Coast and 226/599 communes in the Central Highlands. Despite a lot of positive changes both regions have lower proportions of communes meeting new rural development standard than the national rate, just higher than that in the Northern Mountainous Region.
As remarked by Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong, the National Target Program on New Rural Development has made investment in and developed the 13 provinces of the South Central Coast and Central Highlands, raising living standards of their people. The two regions have established their commercial agricultural production zones, applied high technologies, conserved and promoted their cultural identities.
However, the Central Coordination Office of the Program also highlighted several problems related to new rural development in the said two regions. Particularly, the gap between these and the other regions remain relatively wide and their achievement remains lower than the national average. 27 districts in their 9 provinces (Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Gia Lai, Kon Tum) have no communes meeting new rural development standard. In some provinces of the Central Highlands, less than 30% (Dak Lak and Dak Nong) or less than 20% (Kon Tum) of communes have realized new rural development standard. The number of communes which meet fewer than 10 new rural development criteria in the two regions account for 21.98% of the total national number. The quality of the communes recognized to satisfy new rural development standard is not well maintained.
Some targets have been fixed for 2021-2025 in the South Central Coast and Central Highlands. Specifically, at provincial level, at least 3/13 provinces and cities will be recognized by the Prime Minister to fulfill the mission of new rural development. At district level, at least 30% and at least 20% of the districts in all provinces and cities of the South Central Coast and the Central Highlands respectively will meet new rural development standard.