No need to repay for Indian farmers as debt traps poor

A woman labourer plants paddy saplings in the fields on the outskirts of Hyderabad, India. Vattikuti Prasad grows rice, bananas and sugar cane on his farm as big as 27 football fields in a part of southeastern India where most farmers own plots the size of just one. He has two homes, including a four-bedroom house he rents out in a nearby town. This year Prasad took out at least 120,000 rupees ($1,940) in cheap farm loans from State Bank of India and said he planned to use them to open a third branch of his pesticide and seed business in the state of Andhra Pradesh. And for the second time since 2008, he won’t be paying the money back: The government has offered to forgive 350 billion rupees in agricultural loans, according to a report seen by Bloomberg News. "It is easily available, so I’m taking it," Prasad, 37, said while counting a wad of 1,000-rupee notes from his shop’s cash drawer under a noisy ceiling fan in the punishing heat. As many as 80 percent of … [Read more...]

Vietnamese singer makes first round for 2014 Grammy Awards

A song by emerging local singer Ha Okio has been chosen for the first round list of the 2014 Grammy Awards. Ha's song "Your heart" has been chosen for the first round list in the Category "Best Pop Solo Performance." Though the song stands little chance of entering the Grammy's Top 5, Ha considers it a notable achievement and source of encouragement to his and other local singers' bid to enter the global market. To be eligible for the list, a song must meet two requirements: it was previously released in the US, and nominated by one member of the Grammy jury. The "Your Heart" single, released last year, is in the style of urban R&B. Its lyrics revolve around relationships in our modern society, packed with plans and worries as well as dreams and aspirations. Ha's latest single is titled "Everybody has a choice." Like his previous songs which focus on social issues, it conveys a positive message for his audience: "Make sure your choice in everything is worthy." The song was … [Read more...]

Online film fest kicks off in major cities

YxineFF, an online short film festival, kicked off its new season simultaneously in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang on April 23. The event is also scheduled to begin at the L'Auditorium Paris on May 14. During its opening in HCMC, audiences were given the chance to watch two of the short films which took part in last year's fest, namely "Duc Nguoi" (Molding Humans), a 15-minute cartoon which was adapted from a local fairy tale and made by Ngo Buu Nguyen and Ta Thanh Huy, and "Truc Nhat Voi Thu Ky" (On Duty with Thu Ky), an 18-minute film by young director Do Quoc Trung. Themed "Everybody has a Choice," this year's fest sends a reminder of the copyright ownership of all songs used in the contending films. YxineFF 2013 begins taking films from April 10 to July 10, with the international prizes being the most important category. Those interested can take a look at www.yxineff.com for detailed information. … [Read more...]

2013 YxineFF jury announced

(VOV) -Director Charlie Nguyen, actresses Tang Thanh Ha and Ngoc Hiep and camera Ly Thai Dung will join the jury of the fourth annual online international short-film festival, 2013 YxineFF. Yxine Film Festival screens local independent film-makers' flicks The event, themed Everybody Has a Choice, aims to encourage young film makers to express their love for cinema and pursue their career despite facing numerous difficulties. They can post their works, each in less than 60 minutes, to compete in four different categories, for international, regional, panoramic and close-up awards, from April 10-July 10. The opening ceremony will be held on September 9 and the awards ceremony in December this year. The number of online film viewers jumped rapidly from 1 million in 2010 to over 2.5 million in 2012. … [Read more...]

President offers development advices to Thanh Hoa province

President Truong Tan Sang (Source: VNA) President Truong Tan Sang asked the central province of Thanh Hoa to step up administrative reform, making it easier to attract more foreign investors at a working session with its authorities in the locality on December 8. To propel the local economy further, he suggested more focus on the Nghi Son economic zone and Cua Dat aqua-farming project to develop support industry and generate more jobs. He hailed the province for its 2014 economic growth of 11.6 percent, exceeding the set target and its progresses in building new-style rural areas, saying that it is quite significant because a majority of local population feed on agriculture and rural development. During the year, the local revenue to the State budget is estimated at over 7.5 trillion VND (357 million USD) and the income per capita averages 1.365 USD, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Trinh Van Chien informed the President. Thanh Hoa currently ranks eighth in the … [Read more...]

Credit grows 10.22% in 11 months

Credit organisations posted a growth of 10.22% in the first 11 months of 2014, according to the latest statistics released by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV). The central bank said that November saw the largest expansion of credit. Earlier, by October 24, it grew only 7.85% compared to the same period last year. In some commercial banks, the year-end is a good time for credits to hit targets. The Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank)’s branch in central Thanh Hoa province said it has fulfilled 95% of the set credit growth target of 17.7% while its branch in the northern province of Ninh Binh reported its credit growth of 26% in the 11-month period, meeting 97% of the goal. With this pace, this year’s credit growth target of 12-14% set by the SBV is likely to be reached, experts said. Earlier, a survey conducted by the central bank’s Monetary Statistics and Forecast Department revealed that up to 90% of credit institutions expected their … [Read more...]

Credit grows 10.22 percent in 11 months

Credit organisations posted a growth of 10.22 percent in the first 11 months of 2014, according to the latest statistics released by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV). The central bank said that November saw the largest expansion of credit. Earlier, by October 24, it grew only 7.85 percent compared to the same period last year. In some commercial banks, the year-end is a good time for credits to hit targets. The Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank)’s branch in central Thanh Hoa province said it has fulfilled 95 percent of the set credit growth target of 17.7 percent while its branch in the northern province of Ninh Binh reported its credit growth of 26 percent in the 11-month period, meeting 97 percent of the goal. With this pace, this year’s credit growth target of 12-14 percent set by the SBV is likely to be reached, experts said. Earlier, a survey conducted by the central bank’s Monetary Statistics and Forecast Department revealed … [Read more...]

87% of emigrants in Vietnam’s Central Highlands settle down

Though 87 percent of emigrants to the Central Highlands region of Vietnam have been assigned land for cultivation to settle down, authorities have admitted the migration is a burden to their plans for social development. The region, including the provinces of Dak Lak, Gia Lai, Dak Nong and Kon Tum, has received the most emigrants, with almost a million from 190,000 households from 1975 to 2014, according to a survey of the Government Office. About 870,000 of them have stabilized their lives, while the remaining 130,000 emigrants have no farmland and live scattered across the region’s forests. They have to illegally chop down forest trees to create land for cultivation, said Trang Quang Thanh, director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Dak Lak at a Party meeting last week. Dak Lak Province has approved the spending of VND811 billion (US$39 million) on assistance for 32,600 emigrants from 6,500 families in the past years. From now till 2020, the … [Read more...]

Hagupit to enter East Sea on December 9

VGP - Typhoon Hagupit was forecast to enter the East Sea and make heavy rain in southern Viet Nam on December 9 after sweeping through the Philippines. The projected movement of Typhoon Hagupit Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani from AccuWeather.com suggested Viet Nam keep a close watch on the path and power of Hagupit even though it weakened after hitting the Philippines. The areas between Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City were forecast to be badly affected by the tropical storm. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Monday continued to request all vessels to get out of vulnerable areas. The Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control also dispatched three working groups to inspect preparatory work of the storm in the South Central Coast, the Central Highlands Region and the South Central Coast. Especially, provinces and cities including Quang Tri, Quang Ngai, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Ben Tre and HCMC also issued public telegraphs in response to the upcoming … [Read more...]

Tra Vinh province’s rice output hit all-time high

Tra Vinh, December 8 (VNA) – The Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh reaped a record high rice output with over 1.3 million tonnes this year, up 51,500 tonnes against the previous year. Of the figure, nearly 900,000 tonnes were high quality rice. The province has nearly 236,000ha of rice fields with an average yield of 5.62 tonnes per ha, a year on year increase of 0.21 tonnes. Improving irrigation systems and applying advanced technology and various models into cultivation are among measures taken by local authority to increase the output, said Kim Xe, Head of the Sub-department of Cultivation and Plant Protection under the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The irrigation systems in Zone C Lang The (West Highway 53) and Long Hoa – Hoa Minh Isle of Chau Thanh district have been built up whilst 492 canals with a total length of 410 km were dredged this year. Besides, the province has been implementing production models that bring greater … [Read more...]

Tra Vinh province’s rice output hits all-time high

The Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh reaped a record high rice output with over 1.3 million tonnes this year, up 51,500 tonnes against the previous year. Of the figure, nearly 900,000 tonnes were high quality rice. The province has nearly 236,000ha of rice fields with an average yield of 5.62 tonnes per ha, a year on year increase of 0.21 tonnes. Improving irrigation systems and applying advanced technology and various models into cultivation are among measures taken by local authority to increase the output, said Kim Xe, Head of the Sub-department of Cultivation and Plant Protection under the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The irrigation systems in Zone C Lang The (West Highway 53) and Long Hoa – Hoa Minh Isle of Chau Thanh district have been built up whilst 492 canals with a total length of 410 km were dredged this year. Besides, the province has been implementing production models that bring greater benefits for farmers, notably "3 Down, 3 … [Read more...]

Bird flu virus discovered in Tra Vinh Province

A flock of poultry at Phong Thanh Commune in Cau Ke District of the Mekong delta province of Tra Vinh has been tested positive with H5N1 virus , said the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. 177 chickens in the flock at the commune died of the bird flu virus H5N1. After nine months the bird flu re-occurred in 12 communes in four districts of Tra Vinh Town and four other districts Cang Long, Tieu Can and Cau Ke; killing more than 16,500 chicken. In sum up, the bird flu appeared in the province again. In a bid to curb the transmission among poultry flocks, People’s Committee in Tra Vinh Province is implementing vaccination on the poultry and cattle as well as spraying disinfectant in farms and slaughter houses. Authority asked to set up quarantine stations to monitor the transport and sales of poultry among the province and nearby provinces. The province is determined to stop selling off, eating diseased poultry, transporting ill poultry out of the province and … [Read more...]

Typhoon Hagupit to enter East Sea on early Tuesday

After making a landfall in the Philippines and killing at least three people on Sunday, Typhoon Hagupit is moving towards the East Sea and will reach the area on Tuesday, the Vietnam National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Center reported on Monday. >> Weakened Typhoon Hagupit forecast to enter East Vietnam Sea next week At 7 am Monday, December 8 (Vietnam time), Hagupit was centered on the central Philippines, packing winds of up to 117 kph and gusts of 134-166 kph. The typhoon is moving west-northwest at a speed of 10-15 kph, and will enter the East Sea early Tuesday. At 7 am tomorrow, the powerful storm will be about 610 km east-northeast of Song Tu Tay Island, part of the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, with winds in areas near the eye reaching up to 102 kph, with squalls of 118-149 kph. Over the next 24 hours, the storm will mainly move west at a speed of 15 kph and will be centered 250 km north-northeast of Song Tu Tay Island, with maximum winds of 88 kph, at 7 … [Read more...]

HCM City struggles to control influx of substandard produce

VietNamNet Bridge – High demand for farm produce and the sheer variety of ways in which it is brought into HCM City from other localities makes quality control a very difficult task, officials say. Consumers select vegetables at Metro Binh Phu in HCM City. Food producers are encouraged to produce safe farm products to help the city prevent the sale of substandard farm products. They admit tighter control of the production and trading of farm produce, including meat, was needed during the months leading to the New Year to prevent a strong influx of substandard products. The Thu Duc District's Veterinary Division reported to have fined 255 businesses VND700 million (US$33,000) and destroyed 11 tonnes of plant and animal products since the beginning of the year. During the same period, the municipal Health Department has fined 41 businesses a total of VND600 million ($28,500), shut down four businesses, and destroyed unregistered products found on the premises of 15 … [Read more...]

Social News 8/12

Traffic police officer faces investigation Police in Ba Ria-Vung Tau yesterday started an investigation into a traffic police officer who allegedly crashed his BMW into a group of militiamen while on patrol on Saturday morning, killing two and seriously injuring at least five others. The policeman was identified as Lieutenant Pham Hong Tuan of Chau Duc District's Traffic Division. According to initial reports, a group of militiamen from Lang Lon Commune and Ngai Giao Town in Chau Duc District were on patrol and had stopped by the roadside in Ngai Giao for a break. The BMW was apparently speeding and crashed directly into the group. One man was killed on the spot and one died later in hospital. It is unclear whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol. Thousands volunteer donate blood The National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion received 2,229 units of blood donated by 3,500 registered donors at an event to mark the International Volunteer Day (December … [Read more...]

Agricultural sector focuses on ways to boost productivity

Vietnam's agricultural sector must restructure and seek more funding, Head of CIEM's Rural Development research department Luu Duc Khai told Nong Thon Ngay Nay (Countryside Today) newspaper. *Vietnam's labour productivity in agriculture is very low, even compared to Laos and Cambodia. Could you talk about this? That is a sad fact, and also a big challenge, one that will be difficult for Vietnam to handle. About 47 percent of the country's labour force is employed in the agriculture sector. From 2009 to date, agricultural production and product consumption have faced difficulties, causing industry growth to slow. Between 2009 and 2013, the agriculture, forestry and aquaculture sector grew an average of 2.9 percent per year. Agriculture itself had the lowest growth rate, at 2.5 percent per year, compared with 5 percent for forestry and 4 percent for aquaculture. This shows that agricultural growth mainly depends on intensive farming and increasing productivity. *What has been … [Read more...]

Avian flu reported in Mekong Delta province

Photo: VNA Avian influenza virus subtype H5N1 appeared in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh as 177 chickens in Phong Thanh commune, Cau Ke district, were tested positive for the virus, the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development affirmed. The detection prompted the Tra Vinh People’s Committee to order all relevant agencies to step up prevention measures, including notifying residents about the situation, vaccinating livestock and poultry against flu strains, and sterilising farms and abattoirs. The committee also asked agencies to set up and enhance the operation of checkpoints along waterways and roads traversing flu-hit communes as well as in localities neighbouring other provinces such as Cang Long town, Cau Quan town, Thong Hoa commune, and Dinh An commune. Quarantine staff members were also sent to markets, wharfs, and bus stations to monitor livestock and fowl trade and transport. In the first quarter of 2014, Tra Vinh recorded 25 avian … [Read more...]

Vietnam sees prospect for fruit, vegetable exports to UAE

Dragon fruits are packaged for export (Photo: VNA) Vietnam eyes prospects for its fruit and vegetable exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as it earned 11 million USD from shipping these products to the country in the first 10 months of this year. The Southeast Asian nation mainly exported dried coconut pulp and fresh fruit and vegetable to this market, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Africa, West Asia and South Asia Market Department. The launch of direct air routes between the two countries by Emirates and Etihad has offered a good chance for Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports to the UAE. Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable export turnover is expected to hit a record of 1.4 billion USD in 2014, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. China now leads Vietnam's 10 major importers of the products with 28.6 percent of market share, followed by Japan with 4.74 percent, the Republic of Korea with 3.76 percent and the US with … [Read more...]

Dong Hoa district: Sowing 4,730ha of rice for the winter-spring crop of 2014-2015

According to Dong Hoa district Agriculture and Rural Development Division, for the winter-spring crop, the aforementioned amount of rice will be sowed throughout the district’s fields from December 20th, 2014 to January 10th, 2015. The low-lying and downstream areas in the communes of Hoa Hiep Bac, Hoa Hiep Nam, Hoa Xuan Dong, Hoa Hiep Trung townlet center and some low-lying areas in other communes will be sowed later (from January 1st to January 10th, 2015), using short-term varieties to avoid rain, flood causing inundation, damage, loss of seed after sowing. The seeds for this crop include short and medium-day varieties with the growing period of under 110 days as: ML4-2, ML202, ML48, ML49, ML216, PY1, PY2, AS996, OM4900, ML68, ML4, DV108, CH133 ... The local government encourages farmers to use hybrid-rice varieties with good results after testing, compatible with the conditions of each region, plus the other newly-tested varieties. The People’s Committees in … [Read more...]

South-central region stays alert for typhoon Hagupit

(VOV) - The Central Steering Committee for Storm and Flood Prevention and Control has convened a meeting to discuss measures to cope with super Typhoon Hagupit which is expected to make landfall in the East Sea on the night of December 8. The typhoon is forecast to be combined with a cold spell to trigger downpours in south-central Vietnam several days later. At the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai asked ministries, sectors and localities to stay on high alert for the typhoon and seriously respond to the telegram of the Central Steering Committee for Storm and Flood Prevention and Control. He underlined the importance of closely following the developments of the typhoons, updating information on ships operating on the sea to ensure that they seek shelters and ensure the safety of reservoirs. The typhoon is forecast to move into the East Sea on the night of December 8 and hit the south-central of Vietnam, from Phu Yen to Binh Thuan on December 11-12 coupled with … [Read more...]