Vietnam may lose 300,000 hectares of rice fields by 2020

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Vietnam will lose around 300,000 hectares of rice fields to urbanization, industrial and service activities in the next 10 years if a government plan is approved by the National Assembly next month.

The government has submitted the plan on land use zoning until 2020 to the National Assembly's Economic Committee. It will be submitted to lawmakers for approval in a NA session to be open on October 20.

Under the plan, around 300,000 hectares of rice fields will be used for industrial, service and urbanization purposes by 2020, and the figure will continue to rise in the following years to accommodate population growth and economic development.

According to the government, Vietnam currently has 4.1 million hectares of farming land which directly provides livelihood means for 70 percent of the population.

Over the last 10 years, around 350,000 hectares of farm land have been used for other purposes such as industrial zones, urban areas and non-agricultural production.

Experts have warned that decreasing arable land will put a lot of pressure on Vietnam's food security and agricultural exports in the future.

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