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Saigonese busily prepare for Lunar New Year 2022



As the Covid-19 outbreak has been controlled in HCM City, local people are now preparing for the 2022 Lunar New Year (Tet).

Sài Gòn 'vùng xanh' rộn ràng sắc xuân đón năm mới

At the HCM City Youth Cultural House, workers are preparing artificial yellow apricot branches to decorate streets during the upcoming Lunar New Year, which will fall in late January – early February.

Sài Gòn 'vùng xanh' rộn ràng sắc xuân đón năm mới

The HCM City Youth Cultural House is a popular destination for Saigonese every Tet.

Sài Gòn 'vùng xanh' rộn ràng sắc xuân đón năm mới

The gate at a bank on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, District 1 is decorated with parallel sentences, apricot branches, chrysanthemums, and banh chung (square glutinous rice cake).

Sài Gòn 'vùng xanh' rộn ràng sắc xuân đón năm mới

Tet atmosphere is everywhere.

Sài Gòn 'vùng xanh' rộn ràng sắc xuân đón năm mới

Red peach blossoms on the streets of Saigon.

Sài Gòn 'vùng xanh' rộn ràng sắc xuân đón năm mới

A shopping center on Pasteur Street, District 1.

Sài Gòn 'vùng xanh' rộn ràng sắc xuân đón năm mới

The epidemic has been gradually put under control. Many people prayed in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral on January 12.

Sài Gòn 'vùng xanh' rộn ràng sắc xuân đón năm mới

Young people enjoy coffee in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral, District 1.

Sài Gòn 'vùng xanh' rộn ràng sắc xuân đón năm mới

A woman walks in the 30/4 Park.

Sài Gòn 'vùng xanh' rộn ràng sắc xuân đón năm mới

A man in District 3 takes care of the birds, cleans the house to welcome the new year.

Sài Gòn 'vùng xanh' rộn ràng sắc xuân đón năm mới

People walk on Nguyen Hue Street, District 1.

Sài Gòn 'vùng xanh' rộn ràng sắc xuân đón năm mới

Many young people gather on Nguyen Hue pedestrian street.

Phong Anh



Workers in need of affordable social housing



An affordable social housing zone in Định Hòa Ward, Thủ Dầu Một City, in the southern province of Bình Dương. VNA/ Photo Chí Tưởng

BÌNH DƯƠNG — Nguyễn Thị Huệ Lan wants to buy an affordable social house, but she has been unable to access the market.

Lan is from the southern province of Bình Phước but has lived and worked for many years in Thủ Dầu Một City, Bình Dương Province.

After saving for a long time, Lan is looking to buy a social house this month as her long-time residence. But she has found that many of them already have owners and new projects are not yet ready.

Hữu Phước, from Bến Tre Province though now in Bình Dương Province, said that he has recently moved into a new 30-sq.m social house, which he bought for VNĐ200 million (US$8,500).

In order to buy the house, Phước had to sign up a year ago. Workers cannot buy houses without waiting as the demand for social houses was very high. All social houses are sold right after being built.

Phước said that social houses used to be sold at VNĐ100 million ($4,200), which is suitable for low-income workers, but prices have risen since. The reason for house price increases is that construction materials have increased, pushing up social house prices and making it more difficult for low-income workers to access the market.

Bùi Minh Trí, the head of the Bình Dương Management Board of Industrial Zones, told Vietnam News Agency that the province had 28 industrial zones attracting more than 1.5 million workers, mainly from other provinces. Therefore, housing demand is very high.

The province has implemented many policies to build thousands of social houses at reasonable prices for employees, to create favourable conditions to live and work in the province.

Bình Dương Province has invested in 86 social house projects over nearly 200ha. However, this is not enough to meet demand.

Phạm Ngọc Thuận, general director of the Investment and Industrial Development Corporation (often called Becamex IDC) said that the province had completed 47,500 social houses for workers and low-income people. However, as demand is still very high, the project could not keep up with the people’s needs.

At present, Becamex IDC is building 20,000 social houses in Thuận An City, Thủ Dầu Một City, Bến Cát Town and Bàu Bàng District with a total investment of about VNĐ9.5 trillion ($405.8 million). The first stage is scheduled to be completed at the beginning of next year.

The houses will be sold for between VNĐ120-500 million ($5,100-21,300) each, depending on area and type. Workers can also hire them out for VNĐ750,000 ($32) per house per month.

Bình Dương Province is striving to build one million social houses for workers in the period 2021-25, with a vision to 2030.

Director of the provincial Department of Construction Võ Hoàng Ngân said that the province plans to have one million social houses for workers to create better living conditions for them.

The lease and sale of social houses are managed based on regulations.

The department encouraged boarding house owners to upgrade their houses to the department’s standards to raise workers’ living conditions.

People borrowing money to build or repair boarding houses will receive preferential policies.

Chairman of the Bình Dương People’s Committee Võ Văn Minh said that as the province developed industrial production, social housing for low-income people was very important and has received much consideration from the province.

The province encourages people to invest in building social houses to make stable residences for workers.

In the northern province of Thái Nguyên, where around 200,000 workers live in industrial zones, more than 60 per cent of workers come from other provinces, meaning the demand for social houses is always high.

Trịnh Việt Hùng, chairman of the Thái Nguyên People’s Committee, said that the province now had 50 places approved to build social houses.

However, he said, it was difficult to implement the project because capital from the State budget was limited.

The province has called for investors to join the work of building social houses for workers.

On the other hand, the province will also have supportive policies for workers to buy social houses with preferential interest rates from banks.

It is scheduled that in August this year, the province will have started two social housing projects of more than 1,600 houses.

By the end of last year, Việt Nam completed 266 social house projects with more than 142,000 houses, with a total area of more than 7.1 million square metres. —



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Hà Nội builds safe agricultural production areas



Experts from the Hà Nội Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Hà Nội Agriculture Promotion Fund visit a chicken raising model for clean eggs with high productivity in Liên Châu Commune, Thanh Oai District in Hà Nội. — Photo courtesy of the Hà Nội Sub-department of Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries Quality Management

HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội’s agricultural sector has strengthened safe agricultural areas to ensure sustainable production and provide a source of clean food for domestic and foreign consumers living in the capital city.

Nguyễn Giáp Đông, head of the Ba Vì District’s Economic Division, said that the district currently maintained a safe tea production area spanning 1,550ha and productivity of 10.5 tonnes per hectare per year. The output for the whole year is estimated at 16,275 tonnes of fresh buds, worth VNĐ350 million (US$14,900) per hectare per year.

To help farmers maintain and expand safe production areas, Ba Vì District has supported and created favourable conditions for localities to innovate technology, ensure raw material sources and well manage tea quality.

It builds trademarks, product brands protected by intellectual property; builds good models of safe tea production and processing following Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practises (VietGAP) process.

Thanks to that, the district has successfully built the Ba Vì tea brand.

In Đông Anh District, Nguyễn Anh Dũng, deputy chairman of the district People’s Committee, said that the district had 1,180ha of vegetable production area including more than 500ha of large-scale safe vegetable production.

To control safe vegetable products’ quality, the district has promoted education to raise people’s awareness about limiting pesticides. As the result, the amount of pesticides decreased by about 15 per cent compared to previous years. Farmers have learned to use organic fertilisers, herbs and ensure food safety.

Regarding Hà Nội’s plans for safe agricultural production areas, Nguyễn Thị Thu Hằng, director of the Hà Nội Sub-department of Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries Quality Management, said that the whole city currently maintained over 5,000ha of safe vegetables areas including 43 vegetable planting models applying the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) with a total area of 1,700ha.

Hà Nội also maintaines more than 1,300ha of vegetables, fruits and tea according to VietGAP standards, 181ha of aquaculture in the direction of VietGAP, 88 livestock centres applying VietGAP standards and nearly 50ha of farms following organic agriculture standards.

Besides, Hà Nội continues to develop 141 chains of safe agricultural products manufacture and consumption.

Safety-oriented production not only helps farmers sell at prices which are 10-15 per cent higher than traditional products, but also helps sectors manage quality of products sold on the market.

To create sources of clean and safe food from large-scale production areas, Nguyễn Mạnh Hồng, director of the Đức Phát Hi-tech Agriculture Cooperative in Yên Mỹ Commune, Thanh Trì District, said that Hà Nội needed to invest in infrastructure in collective production areas, support cooperatives and enterprises in capital with preferential interest rates when building safe production farms.

The capital city should also open training courses on high-tech application production, associate with enterprises to consume safe products, said Hồng.

Deputy chairman of the Ứng Hòa District People’s Committee Ngô Tiến Hoàng said that the district continued to create favourable conditions to attract more and more potential enterprises to invest in agricultural production, expanding the scale of farm production areas and high-quality rice areas.

The district will expand high-tech safe vegetables to 170ha, specialty fruit trees with brands in the market to 600ha, expand aquaculture areas in the direction of efficiency, sustainability, ecological environment protection in Hòa Lâm, Trầm Lộng and Trung Tú communes.

Director of the Hà Nội Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Chu Phú Mỹ said that in the future, Hà Nội’s agriculture sector would continue to work with local authorities to expand centralised production organisations together with high-tech applications, ecological agriculture, organic agriculture and advanced quality management systems.

The department will continue to guide and support enterprises to invest in agriculture, multiply safe production models, support farmers with capital from the Hà Nội Agricultural Promotion Fund to expand production scale, creating a source of clean food with clear origin to provide to consumers. —


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Cà Mau equips all offshore fishing boats with monitoring device



Fishing boats in the southernmost province of Cà Mau. – VNA/ Photo Huỳnh Anh

CÀ MAU – The southernmost province of Cà Mau has completed the installation of black boxes to monitor fishing activities of all 1,529 off-shore fishing boats.

All boats, 15m long and above, are required to keep the monitoring device active during their fishing trips.  

The provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development sees the device as an important solution to manage the fishing boats directly and continuously.

It is also an important solution to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities, the department says.

With the installation of the device, violations by fishing boats have reduced significantly, it adds.

Châu Công Bằng, deputy director of the department, said that to fight IUU fishing activities, the province has instructed its fishing ports to keep fishermen, boat owners and captains aware of relevant regulations and updates.

Fishing boats that return to ports after off-shore trips have to comply with rules related to declaring catch details, he added.

Nguyễn Quang Hùng, deputy head of the National Directorate of Fisheries, said Cà Mau has achieved positive results in fighting IUU fishing activities.

The province should further strengthen implementation of measures to prevent violations, he said.

With a coastline of 254km and three sides bordering sea, the province has large offshore fishing advantages and potential.

In total, it has about 5,000 fishing boats, most of them involved in near shore fishing. 

The province has recorded a seafood catch of 77,000 tonnes so far this year, reaching 33.5 per cent of its annual target, according to the department. –


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