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Ministry reserves low-yield rice land for golf courses

VietNamNet Bridge – The draft decree on golf course businesses compiled by the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) says that low-yield one-crop rice land may be used to develop golf courses if the land can satisfy requirements to change the purpose of land use.


In other words, agricultural land which brings low production efficiency could be used for golf courses.

Vu Trong Hong, chair of the Vietnam Irrigation Association, former deputy minister of agriculture, has expressed his disagreement with the tentative regulation for fear about impact on the environment.

Hong said as golf courses cause pollution, they are mostly built on well-aired hills.

“Golf courses are not put next to reservoirs containing water for drinking or daily life. They also are not built in the delta,” Hong said. ‘Golf courses bring high risks to the environment because herbicides are used regularly to clear weed.”

Golf courses are necessary to attract investment and development tourism, but too many golf courses will be unacceptable.

It is a taboo to use rice land for golf courses, because paddy fields are mostly located on flat areas, related to surrounding fields. They must not be used to develop golf courses, or the golf courses will spoil land.

Hong said that it is illegal to convert agricultural land into golf course land. The current laws stipulate changes of land use purposes, but not in the way MPI mentions. 

One-crop rice land must not used for tourism development.

Also according to Hong, the Ministries of Water Resources and Agriculture in the past had to program land development for rice. The land for rice cultivation was extremely modest.

“The one-crop rice land bring low yields because of cultivation techniques. Therefore, it is necessary to upgrade the soil, not to abandon it,” he commented.

He agreed with Hong that paddy land was planned by the government after thorough analysis. 

“Rice fields must not be exchanged for things which cause pollution,” he said.

National Assembly deputies have also expressed their concern over the development of golf courses. 

Pham Van Hoa from Dong Thap province said there are many golf courses in Vietnam already, while ensuring food security must be put on the top priority. Vietnam now has abundant food for exports, but people have high demand for high-quality food.

Bui Thi An, former member of the NA’s Science & Technology Committee, said it is necessary to discuss how many golf courses Vietnam should have.

“Golf courses are necessary to attract investment and development tourism, but too many golf courses will be unacceptable,” she said.

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The article "Ministry reserves low-yield rice land for golf courses" was originally published on http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/business/212806/ministry-reserves-low-yield-rice-land-for-golf-courses.html