THE PRIME MINISTER OF GOVERNMENT
-------
SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence - Freedom – Happiness
---------
No: 247-TTg
Hanoi, April 28, 1995
 
DIRECTIVE
ON PREVENTING REDUCTION OF THE AREA OF WET RICE AND OTHER FARM PRODUCE OF HIGH VALUE THROUGH THE TRANSFER OF THE USE OF THIS LAND FUND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Rice is the staple plant supplying food for each Vietnamese family, and food is a requirement of prime importance for the life of man. Only by protecting and expanding the area of rice cultivation can we ensure durable food security to achieve the objectives of national construction.
Aware of this importance, the State has during the past many years invested hundreds of billions of Vietnam Dong in reclaiming waste land, expanding to the sea side and broadening the agricultural land, particularly the area of rice cultivation in those localities having favorable conditions such as the Plain of Reeds and the Long Xuyen Quadrangle... Our people in many localities have great efforts in carrying out measures of intensive cultivation to increase rice yield and food output.
Since the promulgation of the Land Law, a number of localities have paid attention to directing and managing the fund of agricultural land of high value, and particularly the area of wet rice cultivation, and preventing the transfer of the use of this land fund for other purposes contrary to law. On the other hand, the changes in the mechanism of management and the application of scientific and technical advances in agriculture have contributed to stabilizing and increasing food output, thus meeting the demand for domestic consumption and export. However, so far many branches and the local administration at various levels have not yet fully realized the importance of the task of protecting the agricultural land fund, particularly the land for rice cultivation, and tend to overlook the management of this land fund. Many public agencies, organizations, households and individuals have of their own free will transferred illegally the use of rice-growing land to other purposes, such as constructing office buildings, business establishments, housing, making bricks and tiles, or planting fruit-trees, etc. While each year the Vietnamese population increases by more than one million, natural disasters occur frequently, and food security is not yet really ensured, agricultural land, mainly rice growing land, has been reduced by tens of thousands of hectares yearly. This is a dangerous situation which must be immediately prevented in order to ensure adequate supply of food and foodstuffs for our entire people at present as well as for the generations to come.
In the process of socio-economic development, restructuring of the economy, gradual industrialization and urbanization, the demand for land to build projects and housing keeps growing. If we fail to work out a concrete plan to define clearly each kind of land and to exercise good direction and management, the area of agricultural land of high value, particularly rice growing land, cannot help shrinking. This land fund has been created by the great efforts of our people through many generations.
The Prime Minister requests the Presidents of the People's Committees of the provinces and cities directly under the Central Government, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry, the General Director of the General Land Administration, the other Ministers, the Heads of the branches concerned, and the Heads of political, economic and social organizations, to immediately do the following :
1. In the process of industrialization and urbanization, the localities should draw up a concrete plan to maintain and protect the area of food plant cultivation, particularly the present area of wet rice. Along with the measures of intensive cultivation for higher yield, they should adopt practical policies and plans to encourage the expansion of the wet rice area, by reclaiming waste land, transforming the area cultivated with one low-yield rice crop a year into an area cultivated with 2-3 high-yield rice crops a year, maintaining and expanding the terraced ricefields in mountain areas and in the mid-land, in order to meet the food demand of each locality and ensure national food security.
Together with the above-mentioned measures, the provinces in the plains, particularly those provinces in the deltas of the Red River and the Mekong River, must make full use of the traditional rice land which has been assigned to infrastructure construction but which has been used wastefully or left unused, other kinds of farm land as well as the depleted and alkaline rice lands which give unstable, low yield in order to cater for the need of infrastructure construction.
On this basis, each province and city under the Central Government must urgently complete its economic-social plan, and define very concretely and clearly the long-term use of various kinds of land along the line of industrialization and urbanization. Every year, they must make a plan on the use of land in their locality to match the economic-social development plan, with the aim of minimizing the transfer of the use of agricultural land as mentioned above to other purposes, and submit the plan to the Prime Minister for ratification. The People's Committees of various localities can allot land or rent agricultural land for other uses only within the powers stipulated in Articles 23, 24 and 25 of the Land Law. Any locality, which does not make a plan on the use of agricultural land and does not submit it to the Prime Minister for ratification, shall not have the right to transfer the use of agricultural land to other purposes.
The General Land Administration shall have to discuss with the other Ministries and branches concerned, such as the State Committee for Cooperation and Investment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, the Ministry of Forestry, and the Ministry of Construction to examine the above-mentioned plan, and submit it to the Prime Minister for ratification in August of each year, so that the Government can present it to the National Assembly at its year-end session.
The State Planning Committee and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry shall have to balance the food demand on a national scale (including both domestic consumption and export), clearly define the task of food production and the plan on the use of land for food crop cultivation, and carry out the measures of intensive cultivation to increase rice yield in the five-year plan and the annual plan of each province and city under the Central Government.
Protecting the areas of food plant cultivation, particularly the wet rice growing land in each locality, is the responsibility of the President of the People's Committee of each province or city directly under the Central Government, of the Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry, and the General Director of the General Land Administration.
Every year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry and the General Land Administration, the People's Committees of the provinces and cities directly under the Central Government must report to the Government the change in the area of wet rice cultivation in their localities as well as in the whole country, and at the same time, submit the plan on the use of land as mentioned above to the Government.
2. The restructuring of the crop land in the localities must be necessarily closely calculated and based on different plans for comparison in order to ensure the highest socio-economic efficiency. In the localities which have the need to restructure the crops, if they have the real need to change some area of wet rice cultivation with low productivity and low efficiency into new cultivations in order to meet the needs of society, increase the value of the crops, involve more labor force and create more jobs..., they must make careful consideration and calculations and weigh the benefits in the short as well as long terms. They must consult the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry and the General Land Administration, and in any case must comply with the general planning and the concrete plans already approved.
3. In order to meet the needs of socio-economic development especially in the period of industrialization, and to urban development and the construction of the infrastructure, and to ensure the necessary land area for housing for the population and the construction of enterprises in joint venture or in cooperation with foreign countries..., when making the general planning and considering and examining the development investment projects, the People's Committees of the provinces and cities directly under the Central Government and the concerned ministries and branches must carefully weigh the use of land. They should aim primarily at the hilly areas and areas of very arid land, where rice cultivation is not effective. In the designing and construction of projects and dwelling houses, maximal use of the aerial space must be taken into consideration, in order to limit to the minimum the use of the rice land while continuing to ensure the need of industrial development as well as the development of the crafts and occupations, increasing social welfare, and meeting the conditions of urbanization of the localities. In special cases, when it is necessary to use the wet rice land where irrigation and drainage facilities have been secured and which gives high and stable productivity, there must be very concrete explanation, and the plan must be reported to the Prime Minister for consideration and decision before a project can be started.
4. The People's Committees of the provinces and cities directly under the Central Government are entrusted with coordinating with the specialized ministries and branches to organize the inspection, and they are empowered to order an immediate stop to any act of any organization, household or individual that arbitrarily changes the rice land into land for the building of offices, business centers or dwelling houses, or for the making of bricks and tiles and other construction purposes in whatever form. They must mete out very strict punishment including the examination for penal liability with regard to the cases of serious violation of the Land Law.
5. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry shall preside over and, together with the Ministry of Finance, the State Planning Committee and the General Land Administration, shall study the policy of encouraging rice growers and ensure for them a stable and durable income not lower than the growers of other plants. This project must be completed before the 30th of June 1995 and submitted to the Prime Minister.
6. The State Planning Committee shall preside over and, together with the concerned ministries, branches and localities, complete at an early date the planning of concentrated economic areas especially concerning the industrial zones, invest more on the construction of infrastructure works in communication, electricity and water, level the ground to turn the arid land (with low productivity in agriculture) into industrial zones and new residential areas, and submit the plan to the Government for ratification.
7. The implementation of the policy of preserving the agricultural land fund, especially the land reserved for wet rice cultivation as mentioned above in the process of industrialization and modernization, is the permanent and long-term responsibility of all echelons, branches and of the entire people. This policy must be popularized widely for implementation, supervision and inspection by the entire people. The Presidents of the People's Committees at all levels, and the heads of the ministries and branches shall have to ensure strict implementation of this Directive.
8. The Prime Minister assigns the General State Inspector, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry and the General Director of the General Land Administration to organize, within their functions and responsibilities, the control and inspection of the observance of this Directive, and report periodically every quarter to the Prime Minister.
This Directive replaces the Official Message No.1044-KTN on the 3rd of March 1995 of the Prime Minister.
 
THE PRIME MINISTER




Vo Van Kiet