Vietnam’s air force marks US Christmas bombing of Hanoi
The air force of Vietnam held a ceremony on December 21 to mark the 45th anniversary of the victory over the US Christmas bombing of Hanoi in 1972, known in Vietnamese as the Dien Bien Phu Victory in the air.
The function is attended by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Minister of Defence General Ngo Xuan Lich and Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Hoang Trung Hai.
In a celebratory speech, Lt General Le Huy Vinh, commander of the air force, recalled the force’s resounding triumphs during the war against the US, notably the victory against US Operation Linebacker II in December of 1972.
During the 12-day operation, Vietnamese soldiers and people fought heroically and shot down 34 B-52 aircraft and other strategic bombers, forcing the US to return to the negotiation table and sign the Paris agreement on ending the war and restoring peace in Vietnam.
The victory provided a significant momentum for Vietnam to step up its southern liberation campaign and reunify the country less than two years later.
Speaking at the ceremony, PM Phuc emphasised that the Dien Bien Phu Victory in the air has become a shining milestone in the Vietnamese history of resistance against foreign aggressors, alongside the victories of Chi Lang, Bach Dang, Van Kiep and Dong Da.
He stated that today the air force must strengthen its combat readiness to meet the ever increasing requirements to defend the country’s air space, islands and territorial waters.
The government leader noted that training soldiers is the key factor to every victory in the cause of national defence while also underlining the need to develop defence technologies to deal with hi-tech warfare.
Vietnamese football requires specific agenda for development
Vietnam needs to establish a specific agenda in accordance with international football laws to develop a fair, honest and accurate football industry, said Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam.
The Deputy PM made the remarks at a conference to review the national strategy of developing Vietnamese football by 2020, with a vision to 2030, which was held by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in Hanoi, on December 19.
Deputy PM Dam believes that Vietnamese football has seen positive changes in many aspects but has also shown a lot of inadequacies in school football, the training of young players, football violence, and negative behaviour both inside and outside the football stadium.
At the conference, participants also pointed out a number of shortcomings in the national football, including the indifference to women’s football, difficulties in the management of football facilities, and the unprofessionalism of national football.
The Deputy PM requested football managers and players to eliminate the things that are going against the world rules and at the same time, say no to negative behaviour.
He also proposed the organisation of a dialogue in the first half of January 2018 so that football fans and stakeholders can contribute their ideas for the development of Vietnamese football.
The Deputy PM stated that more efforts is needed to promote the huge potential of Vietnamese football, while emphasising the importance of building a fair and clean football industry to win the support from the public.
Counter traffic jam steering board not been established yet
The Prime Minister has required not to establish the steering boards to tackle traffic jam in Hanoi and HCMC yet.
He assigned the two cities to take the initiative in synchronously implementing solutions to reduce traffic congestion, report to the PM matters beyond their jurisdiction.
National Traffic Safety Committee should propose to the PM short and long term measures to tackle the issue in Hanoi, HCMC and the country.
Previously in July Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approved the policy of setting up the steering board headed by Government leaders.
Goods quality, food safety not closely supervised in HCMC
The Economic and Budget Committee of HCMC People’s Council yesterday worked with agencies about goods preparation and inspection, market supervision and prices before, during and after the coming Tet holiday. One of issues reported at the meeting is that goods quality and food safety has not been closely supervised.
Mr. Le Vo Bich Dong, deputy head of Commerce Management Division under the Department of Industry and Trade, said that necessary goods volume prepared for the yearend shopping season has increased 15-20 percent compared to the city’s plan and 20-30 percent compared to the same period last year.
The value of goods which businesses have produced and stockpiled for two months before and after the Tet holiday tops VND17.8 billion, up 4.1 percent over last year. Of these, subsidized goods value exceeds VND7 trillion.
Many groups of commodities have been prepared with large volume, able to control 32-55 market demand such as poultry, chicken egg, processed food, cattle meat, cooking oil and rice.
Consumption demand is forecast to approximate 41.1 million liters of beer and 47.2 million liters of beverage a Tet month, up 30 percent over normal; 18,000 tons of confectionaries and jams. Confectionary companies this year have supplied many new products with eye catching designs and good quality.
Supply of pork, poultry, sugar, egg and rice in the city is very abundant with prices being stable since early this year. Some products such as seafood, vegetable and fruit saw a reduction in October and November because of long lasting rain and flooding. It is forecast that fresh food supply will be increased, prices will be stable and reduce near the Tet. Other necessary product provision will be abundant with steady prices.
Many delegates at the meeting concerned that overlapping in goods quality and food safety supervision among agencies and Food Safety Management Board has created loopholes for low quality goods to flood the market.
Notably, fake meat has occurred for the last two years with sow meat counterfeiting other types of meat.
Inspection of banned products such as firecracker has met with difficulties as the product has been transformed into other products such as flares and firework.
A representative of HCMC Police Department suggested relevant agencies including economic police, traffic police, market management and veterinary agency to work closely together to prevent counterfeits and low quality goods from entering HCMC right at city entrance gateways. If these consignments can enter areas inner the city, no authorized agency can control them from circulating in the market.
Sharing the same view, Mr. Nguyen Van Bach, deputy head of Market Management Department, said that authorized agencies should together inspect and supervise production and business establishments, large warehouses and the system of cold storages to prevent out of date commodities from being confused with other goods to flock into the market in coming peak shopping time.
Faked goods have not only run into small shops with low prices but also high class shops and sold at exorbitant prices. Therefore market management agency is now working with producers, shop owners and suppliers to inspect, compare real and fake products to strictly tackle the issue.
At the meeting, agencies also reported difficulties in taking samples of consignments for testing. According to regulations, authorized agencies are permitted to keep consignments within 24 hours even though there is testing results of samples or not.
Hence, it is needed to buy fast sample testing equipment for food and invest in specialized storages to keep consignments. That will create the best conditions for authorized agencies to inspect and supervise the market in the yearend time.
In the month near the Tet festival, businesses in HCMC will organize 1,500 promotional seasons to stimulate consumption demand, focusing on products such as beverage, confectionary and clothes with the total promotional value of VND1.5 trillion.
Subsidized goods companies and distribution systems have built a promotional plan with big discounts in days near the Tet.
Licensing of fairs and promotional programs comes within the jurisdiction of the Department of Industry and Trade. Goods quality and price supervision is undertaken by market management divisions in districts in coordination with the agency’s inspectors.
Recurrence of bizarre skin disease in Quang Ngai province
Bizarre skin disease recurred in the central province of Quang Ngai’s Ba To District prompting worries amongst residents.
Head of the Department of Preventive Health Professor Tran Dac Phu announced from December 9-13, medical center in Ba To recorded five infection cases of bizarre skin.
The Department of Preventive Health under the Ministry of Health ordered the provincial Department of Health to liaise with relevant agencies to enhance disease surveillance with the aim to detect infection cases and people in the community at risk of contracting the disease for timely treatment .
Along with this, health authority needs to guide locals to harvest and preserve rice in right way to prevent fungicide infection. Increased information of balance meals with vitamins and minerals to improve constitution is needed.
Additionally, residents should be instructed to clean the surrounding environment, keep personal hygiene and have boiled food and water.
The Pasteur Institute Nha Trang was requested to increase supervision along with local health authority in these above-mentioned activities.
Students’ design and fine arts competition launched nationwide
A design and fine arts award encouraging student creativity has been launched by the Hoa Sen University.
The competition called Hoa Sen Award opens for students throughout the country, aiming at discovering young talents in design and fine arts.
Submissions are accepted in categories, including fashion, graphic design, architecture, interior decoration, film making, screenplay. They can be sent to the organization board from now until January 4, 2018.
The first winner will receive a scholarship worth VND200 million. The 2nd-place winner will get a scholarship worth VND100 million; and the 3rd-position winner will take a scholarship costing VND50 million. The organization board will also present one encouragement award and a july’s choice prize.
The award ceremony will be organized in February, 2018.
Vung Tau City to open book street on Tet holiday
The Tet book street will be organized for the first time at Quang Trung Park in the southern coastal city of Vung Tau on February 12-25, 2018.
The event will also display thousands of copies of publications of various genres such as politics, culture, history, literature and economics, and universal knowledge by leading publishers in the country. It aims to promote the reading habit for local people.
The Vung Tau book street will be continued to open after Tet to provide a location for businesses in the publishing sector to organize events and present products, and create a cultural space for book enthusiasts.
Israeli bestseller now available in Vietnamese language
The Vietnamese version of the book, “The Soul Bird” by Israeli writer Michal Snunit was released at Hanoi book street on December 17.
The release of Israeli bestseller “The Soul Bird” is based on the cooperation of the Embassy of Israel to Vietnam and Kim Dong Publishing House.
The Israeli Embassy in Hanoi hopes that the book will contribute in promoting reading habits of the young generation in Vietnam.
Michal Snunit’s “The Soul Bird” has been translated into 25 languages and a bestseller around the world for ten years since its first publication.
Its appeal is similar to that of St Exupéry’s The Little Prince, using the simple language of childhood to convey a deeper philosophical message for us all. The book was awarded the first international prize for children books in Geneva in 1993 and the Book of the Year by the Ministry of Education in Mexico in 2006.
Author of books for children, Michal Snunit was born in Kibuttz Ein Hahoresh, Israel. She studied theatre and literature at Tel-Aviv University, and worked in agriculture before becoming a journalist and magazine editor from 1976 to 1980.
Over VND 5.2 trln to upgrade Tan Son Nhat, Noi Bai & Cai Bi Airports
The Airports Corporation of Vietnam has just proposed the Ministry of Transport to renovate and expand exploitation of Tan Son Nhat, Noi Bai and Cat Bi Airports with total investment capital of more than VND 5,200 billion.
Particularly, a project on expansion of the Tan Son Nhat Airport is scheduled to last within 16 months with total investment capital of VND 1,910 billion.
By 2020, the Tan Son Nhat International Airport will serve 45 million passengers a year, exceeding its current exploitation capacity of 25 million passengers per year.
The renovation of the Noi Bai International Airport costs VND 2.3 trillion with a expansion work during 16 months. By 2020, the airport is expected to serve 20- 25 million passengers a year.
The Airports Corporation of Vietnam also proposed investment capital of VND 1,018 billion for upgrading, repairing and renovating the Cat Bi Airport.
The project is scheduled to be finished in the first quarter of 2019.
Storm-affected residents in Son La to receive rice aid
Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has entrusted the Ministry of Finance to provide rice from the national reserves to the northern mountainous province of Son La to aid local people affected by recent storms and floods.
The province is set to receive more than 64 tonnes of rice to help the targeted residents.
The Deputy PM urged the provincial People’s Committees to promptly distribute the rice to those in need.
The province was also asked to report to the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs if it needs more rice.
Flash floods triggered by heavy rains left tens of people dead and missing, and damaged thousands of hectares of crops and many houses in Son La province.
Xmas greetings to Catholics in southern Dong Nai province
Truong Thi Mai, head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Mass Mobilisation and leaders of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, visited the Xuan Loc Diocese in the southern province of Dong Nai on December 21 ahead of Christmas.
On behalf of the Party and State leaders, Mai extended Christmas wishes to Bishop of the Diocese, Dinh Duc Dao, dignitaries and followers in the region.
She also extended her thanks to dignitaries for leading Catholic followers in Dong Nai and Binh Duong provinces to participate in patriotic movements.
Mai briefed the Catholic dignitaries on the nation’s recent achievements in socio-economic and cultural development, security, national defence and external affairs, saying that the Catholic community nationwide has made significant contributions to these achievements.
Bishop Dinh Duc Dao pledged that he and other dignitaries will continue guiding local religious followers to lead a good life.
Police raid property magnate’s home in Danang
Police at the Ministry of Public Security on December 21 raided the residence of property magnate Phan Van Anh Vu on Tran Quoc Toan Street in Danang City.
Local media quoted a ministry source as saying that the ministry had filed charges against Vu, who is also known as Vu Nhom.
Vu is chairman of three companies – Bac Nam 79 Construction Joint Stock Co., Nova Bac Nam 79 Joint Stock Co., and The Sunrise Bay Danang. He also owns a host of property projects in Danang.
Before 2017, he kept a low profile but since early this year he has got in the news as he is believed to be involved in a lot of property projects under police investigation.
In September this year, investigators at the Ministry of Public Security launched a probe into nine property projects and 31 public land lots and houses in Danang which have been transacted since 2006. Two of the land lots under investigation were used to build a home and a company office which both belong to Vu, according to Thanh Nien newspaper.
After the police raid, two police cars entered Vu’s home at around 9:10 p.m. on December 21 and left about 10 minutes later.
Helmet wearing campaign helps save US$3.5 billion
After ten years of the enforcement on compulsory helmet wearing, Vietnam has experienced a significant reduction in the cases of traumatic brain injury, helping the country save over US$3.5 billion for medical treatment costs and other economic burdens, according to data from the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP).
The information was announced at the “Fun with Traffic Safety” Day program, held by AIP in conjunction with the FIA Foundation in Hanoi late last week to mark the 10-year milestone of enforcing the regulation on the compulsory helmet wearing campaign.
Pham Ngoc Tuan from Hanoi City’s Department of Education and Training said in a statement that it is very essential to raise awareness of helmet wearing among children who are most vulnerable to the highest risks of traffic accidents when in traffic circulation.
The event featured a circus show performed by the Vietnam Circus Federation apart from a range of fun activities such as quiz games and helmet-painting.
U.S. consulate general seeks candidates for SEAYLP 2018
The U.S. Consulate General in HCMC is seeking candidates for the 2018 Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program (SEAYLP).
Vietnamese students from grades 10 to 11 at high schools nationwide, who demonstrate leadership through academic work, community involvement and extracurricular activity, and have a good command of English, can apply for the program.
Five scholarships are made available for Vietnamese students. The application deadline is 5 p.m. on January 5, 2018.
Funded by the U.S. Department of State, SEAYLP is an exchange program with the goal to promote leadership, civic responsibility, volunteerism and respect among youths. High-school students from 10 ASEAN member countries are encouraged to join a three-course exchange and study program in the U.S., focusing on leadership skills and youth development.
The exchange program will start in April 2018. After finishing the U.S.-based program, participants are required to carry out a project that serves their communities under the patronage of the U.S. Department of State.
Malwares developed for mercenary reasons
New malicious codes are attacking personal computers and mobile devices for mercenary reasons, said experts at Kaspersky Lab at an introduction of Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Total Security products on December 20.
Nguyen Trong Huan, a security expert of Kaspersky Vietnam, said malwares are designed to steal data from users of computers and mobile devices for blackmailing.
He added threats to financial tools such as payment via credit card and online banking have become more imminent.
Sometimes malwares are not designed to destroy data. Instead they use compromised computers to mine for digital currencies. Therefore, users are difficult to detect them.
Take a malicious virus on Facebook for example. If certain Facebook users receive Zip files under the name “video_xxxx.zip” (x represents a number), and then open them, the file which is actually a malware will infect their computers and compromise their Facebook accounts.
Ngo Tran Vu, managing director of Nam Truong Son Co Ltd (NTS Group), a distributor of Kaspersky security products, said users of computers and mobile gadgets often underestimate ransomware and spyware risks.
US$9 million borrowed from Kuwait to adapt to climate change
The Ministry of Finance on December 19 signed a deal with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development to borrow over US$9 million, or VND212 billion, for a climate change adaptation project in the northern province of Thai Binh.
According to Deputy Minister of Finance Tran Xuan Ha, the project to develop coastal infrastructure means a lot to Thai Binh, which has been greatly impacted by climate change.
Vietnam has pledged effective use and management of such funding, the deputy minister was quoted by VietnamPlus news website as saying.
Kuwait Fund deputy director general Hesham Al-Waqayan said the project would contribute to improving the quality of life in Thai Binh, said the VietnamPlus report.
He said the fund is willing to finance development projects in Vietnam and that both sides are discussing other project proposals, including one in Xin Man in the northernmost province of Ha Giang.
In addition to the project in Thai Binh, the Kuwait Fund has financed several rural infrastructure projects in Vietnam with a total of almost US$169 million, such as Dau Tieng irrigation, Van Dinh irrigation and Dac Ta-Ngoc Linh road.
Military Region 7 vows to boost mass mobilisation work
The Military Region 7 High Command plans to step up mass mobilisation activities and build closer relations with the people, said a senior officer.
Major General Du Truong Giang, Deputy Commander of the Military Region 7, made the assertion at a recent meeting with head of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee’s Commission for Mass Mobilisation Truong Thi Mai in Ho Chi Minh City.
Giang said the region’s officers and soldiers will strive to fulfill all tasks assigned by the Party and State.
Mai said apart from standing ready to combat, the Military Region 7 has paid attention to mass mobilisation by building good relations with relevant units in and out of the city as well as launching campaigns to encourage people from all social strata to follow the Party and State’s policies.
She congratulated the Military Region 7 on the occasion of the 73rd founding anniversary of the Vietnam People’s Army (December 22) and the 28th anniversary of the All-People’s Defence Festival (December 22).
While visiting the Saigon Newport Corporation, Mai expressed her hope that the corporation will continue promoting mass mobilisation activities.
Rear Admiral Nguyen Dang Nghiem said the company will maintain and develop effective models to improve the work and create favourable conditions for units to fulfil the key tasks of national defence and business production.
Vietnamese, Cambodian radios boost cooperation
Cambodian Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith held a working session with leaders of national radio broadcaster The Voice of Vietnam (VOV) in Hanoi on December 21 and signed a bilateral cooperation agreement for 2017-2020.
The deal allows the two sides to air more radio news and programmes on each country’s politics, economy, culture and society, aiming to strengthen the friendship between Vietnam and Cambodia.
The two sides will also send high-ranking delegations to visit each other to exchange experience. The VOV will help Cambodia national radio tackle technical problems.
At the signing ceremony, VOV General Director Nguyen The Ky expressed his belief that the Cambodian minister’s visit, which takes place at a time when the two countries are celebrating the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties, will foster information cooperation between the two countries.
Ky also briefed the guests on the media activities of Vietnam and the VOV. Formed in 1945, the VOV operates eight national radio channels, nearly 20 television channels, two online newspapers, one printed newspaper, one opera house and 17 representative offices across the country and the world.
With more than 3,100 staff members, VOV airs news in 12 languages, including Khmer.
The VOV leader said the agency wants longer and more diverse Vietnamese programmes to be aired on the Cambodia national radio.
For his part, Khieu Kanharith said that Cambodia’s national radio broadcasts Vietnamese programmes for 15 minutes a day. It plans to increase time for the programme, but it is facing some difficulties. He asked the VOV to assist the Cambodia national radio to increase the time for the Vietnamese programme to 30 minutes per day.
He said that 2018 will be an important year for Cambodia as the country will hold general elections, adding that he hopes the cooperation agreement will help serve coverage of the election.
The same day, the Cambodian minister presented a Moha Sena Order, the noblest order of the Cambodian Royal Government, to VOV General Director Ky. VOV Deputy General Directors Vu Hai and Nguyen Xuan Huy and some former VOV leaders also received Sa Hak Metrey Orders of Cambodia.
News helps promote, protect Vietnam
The production of external information has helped promote the country’s image and culture to the world, boosting the country’s sovereignty over sea and islands as well as human rights.
Deputy head of the external information service board under the Central Party Committee’s Commission for Information and Education, Hoang Ngoc Ha, said this at a conference in the city on December 21.
Ha said the conference was a chance to review the first phase of the Government’s action plan on external information strategy until the year 2020.
He said that 63 provinces and cities had set up instruction boards on external information services and portals in Vietnamese and English since 2014.
“Many cultural festivals, landscapes, destinations and traditional lifestyles of Vietnam have been vividly broadcasted worldwide through external media system. Local media also posted numerous news, video clips, photos and information of the country’s sovereignty sea and islands,” Ha said, adding that the world had a positive view of Vietnam because of this.
He said the service had yet received full financial support in developing an information service, while information content via internet, social network had not been attractive to foreign readers.
According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, 500 films on Vietnam were screened at Vietnam’s Culture Week in 15 countries over the past four years.
Mai Anh Hong, from the ministry, said Vietnam News Agency (VNA), Vietnam Television (VTV) and Digital Television (VTC) had promoted their external information service in multi languages with longer broadcast time.
He said VNA’s Vietnam Pictorial was the largest language publication in Vietnam. It was printed in eight languages.
Hong said VNA also had 30 representatives in 28 countries around the world.
Doan Thi Minh Phuong from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said Vietnam was one of nine countries hosting World Ocean Day communications recently.
Vice director of Da Nang City’s Department of Information and Communications, Nguyen Thi Phuong, said the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)’s Leaders’ Week in Da Nang was seen as milestone for the external information service.
She said more than 9,000 news and features on APEC were posted in 2017, including 6,000 were broadcast during Leaders’ Week. Meanwhile, more than 6,000 news and stories covering the Da Nang International Fireworks Festival and Asia Beach Games were also run.
Deputy General Director of VNA, Le Quoc Minh, said the national news agency had 10 boards in charge of external information services.
“We have built up relationships and co-operation with 40 new agencies over the world, including giant Reuters, AP, Xinhua, Yonhap and new ties with Poland, Kazakhstan and Australia,” Minh said.
“VNA has eyed infotainment (information and entertainment), technology applications and new styles in renewal information service to meet increasing demands of foreign readers,” he said.
He said VNA’s mega stories item, 2013-launched Rapnews (Rap combined with news) – which were seen as non-tradition and non-press product – were the latest media products in attracting young readers.
He also said the agency also planned to build data journalism and boost Artificial Intelligence (AI) in boosting information service in the near future.
Nguyen Thi Phuong Lien from Vietnam Television (VTV) Channel 4 said external information broadcast at the channel increased from one hour to three hours per day in five languages – English, French, Japanese, Chinese and Russian.
Women’s unions foster cooperation with Chinese counterparts
President of the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) Nguyen Thi Thu Ha is leading a VWU delegation to visit China from December 18-22 to boost cooperation between women of the two countries and to learn about vocational training for women and women’s start-ups.
Ha’s visit is being made at the invitation of the All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF), during which she met with ACWF President Shen Yue Yue and held talks with ACWF Vice President Deng Li.
At the meetings, the two sides reviewed exchange activities between the VWU and ACWF over the past several years and shared experiences in ensuring women’s rights and promoting their role.
Earlier, Ha witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between four provinces of Vietnam, namely Cao Bang, Ha Giang, Quang Ninh and Lang Son, and the women’s federation of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The deal is expected to help build a shared border of peace, cooperation and development between the two nations.
In Shanghai, she learned about some successful start-up businesses run by Chinese women and how to create links between the women’s federations and local enterprises to carry out community activities.
Ha also visited vocational schools for women and safe cultural and educational centres for youths and community-based activities of the women’s federation in Guangxi.
Thai Binh urged to focus on socio-economic development
Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh has asked leaders of the Red River Delta province of Thai Binh to take measures to effectively implement its socio-economic development plan in 2018.
In a working session with local officials as part of his visit to Thai Binh on December 21, Binh called for more efforts to restructure agricultural production along with stepping up the application of scientific advances and bio-technologies, and ensuring clean production and sustainable development.
Attention should also be paid to expanding the new-style rural area building programme and encouraging enterprises to invest in the field, he stressed.
The Deputy PM urged local authorities to focus on fine-tuning the business environment, improving competitiveness and simplifying administrative procedures to attract more enterprises to the province.
It is necessary to support the development of private and small-and-medium sized enterprises, he said, adding that initiatives should also be devised to enhance the efficiency of State-owned enterprises.
According to Nguyen Hong Dien, Vice Secretary of the provincial Party Committee and Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, the province’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) and production value in 2017 surged by 11 percent and 13.15 percent, respectively, compared to 2016. Budget collection reached 13.8 trillion VND (608 million USD), 40 percent above the target.
The province also made progress in building new-style rural areas in the year, with an additional 19 communes meeting all new-style rural area criteria, lifting the total number of new-style rural communes to 205, equivalent to 78 percent. Residents in all communes and wards have access to clean water.
Local officials recommended the Government approve a project to build Thai Binh economic zone, while asking for State investment to build infrastructure systems, especially transport infrastructure, contributing to creating momentum for stronger development.
NGOs honoured for contributions to Vietnam’s poverty reduction
Forty-eight foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were honoured for their contributions to poverty reduction and sustainable development in Vietnam during 2013-2017 at a ceremony in Hanoi on December 21.
Speaking at the event, Vice President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) Don Tuan Phong said the national programme calling for foreign non-governmental assistance in 2013-2017 was a success with all targets achieved.
The success was achieved through great contributions from NGOs, together with the efforts of Vietnam’s ministries, agencies and localities, he affirmed.
Country Director of Save the Children in Vietnam Dragana Strinic expressed her honour to receive the certificate of merit which acknowledges the NGO’s important contributions to poverty reduction and social welfare in Vietnam.
Strinic stated that Vietnam still faces many challenges, including an increase in the wealth gap and development gap between urban and rural areas. The country is also greatly affected by climate change, she added.
NGOs, including Save the Children, are committed to maintaining cooperation with the Vietnamese Government and partners to tackle these challenges, eliminate poverty and achieve sustainable development goals, she confirmed.
According to reports from ministries, sectors, localities and mass organisations, the programme was implemented effectively, basically achieving the set targets.
Many legal documents related to foreign non-governmental work were issued, while others have been revised, towards facilitating NGOs’ activities in the country.
Cooperation between State agencies and NGOs has been also strengthened.-
Gia Lai pepper farmers developing Sri Lanka plant
Pepper growers in Gia Lai Province are developing pepper plants from Sri Lanka, instead of local varieties, however some agricultural experts are wary of its development potential.
Despite the low market price of pepper early this week, farmers in the Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) province of Gia Lai were still taking risks on the strange variety from Sri Lanka, with buying prices of VNĐ105,000-115,000 per kg, three times higher than Vĩnh Linh pepper (named after a popular pepper seed originating in Vĩnh Linh District). Vĩnh Linh pepper has been thriving in Gia Lai.
Faced with falling pepper prices and worsening weather in recent years, many pepper growers in Gia Lai Province have fallen into serious debt. Some were forced to destroy their pepper plants to grow other fruit trees and make a living.
Some local households, on the other hand, believed in the future of pepper, and decided to grow Sri Lankan pepper plants, instead of the local type.
According to Nguyễn Trần Quyện, deputy head of Gia Lai Province’s Centre for Pepper Research and Development, the pepper originated in Sri Lanka, and was planted in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. “It can tolerate drought and has yields three times higher than local plants. In addition, Sri Lankan pepper is also very resistant to pests,” he told Việt Nam News. “My initial research shows it is much like India’s Panniyur pepper.”
The Sri Lanka pepper was first grown in Gia Lai three years ago, by a local man who brought pepper seeds from Cambodia.
“It was confirmed by a Sri Lankan agricultural expert at a recent seminar, when I brought some pepper samples to him, that this variety is similar to that commonly grown in Sri Lanka,” Quyện said.
Nguyễn Văn Long, 60, living in Diên Phú Commune, Pleiku City, one of the households that has turned to Sri Lanka pepper in the area, said some villagers working in Cambodia found this pepper highly productive and resistant to pests and diseases so they brought it back to grow in their native land.
“At first, I tried to plant 100 Sri Lanka pepper plants, then I realised that it grew fast and had good resistance to disease, so this quickly developed to 1,000 new plants,” said Long.
According to Long, the Sri Lankan pepper was similar in price to the Vĩnh Linh pepper of Việt Nam. It was also as easy to grow and pick.
However, the Sri Lanka pepper grows quickly, with the appearance of large leaves and long pods (from 18 to 20cm), so plants need to be fertilised a lot to ensure good growth.
The special feature of Sri Lanka pepper was its productivity. If the best-growing Vietnamese pepper could yield 5-7kg of grain per tree, Sri Lankan pepper offers 17-18 kg of grain per tree.
Currently, Diên Phú Commune has a dozen households that are growing this Sri Lanka pepper, at an average of 100 to 200 trees each.
At present, Long’s pepper garden is growing well. “I initially tested the plants and didn’t take much care of them, but they developed naturally.”
“When the peppers grow well, the large leaves and sprouts are twice as big as sprouts of local pepper. So, I decided to develop 1,000 new pepper plants that are expected to be highly effective.”
Nguyễn Đức Trọng, chairman of Chư Sê Pepper Co-operative, was very considerate about the decision taken by local pepper growers, saying farmers have been advised not to expand production as the Sri Lanka pepper was rather new and its quality and production haven’t been confirmed by competent agencies.
Quyện said the centre has experimented with this pepper tree. The centre also took samples to analyse and evaluate the content of Piperine (the alkaloid responsible for the pungency of black pepper).
Quyện’s centre, in co-ordination with a local pepper export-import company, has studied Sri Lanka pepper samples, discovering that the piperine content of this pepper was just 3.5 per cent, against the standard content for export at 4 per cent.
“We are afraid that if we multiply the Sri Lanka pepper plants widely, it may cause farmers to become disillusioned with pepper again. We will get some samples of this pepper for further analysis and evaluation, while now we are recommending that farmers do not plant it widely,” said Quyện.
“We are waiting for the first harvest next February. And we plan to hybridise this pepper with Vĩnh Linh pepper.”
In Gia Lai, there are about 10ha of Sri Lanka pepper by far.
Activity introduces Da Lat’s farm specialties
A street introducing tea, coffee, wine and specialties of Da Lat city, the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong opened on December 22.
As part of programmes starting the seventh Da Lat Flower Festival, the event attracted the participation of 28 enterprises.
Products on display include O Long tea, dried flowers, Arabica coffee, wine and Artichoke tea.
The programme taking place in the Ho Tung Mau road area nearby Xuan Huong lasts until January 3, 2018.
The same day, a trade fair gathering nearly 300 booths also opened in the city. It attracts exhibitors of farm and industrial products, and textiles.
The 7th Da Lat Flower Festival, themed “Flowers of Da Lat – Miracle from the Good Earth”, will be held in Da Lat city from December 23-27.
This year’s event will continue promoting the branding of flowers and tourism in Da Lat and introducing traditional tea and silk products of the province.
The festival will feature a fashion week of silk and “ao dai” (traditional Vietnamese dress) and folk performances by artists from the Republic of Korea.
A series of workshops will be held within the framework of the festival to promote investment in Lam Dong, discuss Da Lat’s development planning and develop local tea and silk products.
- AP News in Brief 05-30-19
- Nation and World briefs for July 23
- AP news in Brief 07-25-19
- Public records: Aug. 12, 2019
- AP News in Brief 08-23-19
- Spirits News and Events – June 2019
- What to know in New Orleans this week (July 23, 2019)
- North County School News, Aug. 29
- Sophie Turner: ‘Sansa’s getting fat’ and other social media hate fueled depression, suicidal thoughts
- Movie Review: The Curse of La Llorona