Mekong Delta farmers busy preparing Tết flowers

Tuesday, Dec 05, 2023 11:18

Farmers tend to chrysanthemum pots in Sa Đéc flower village in Đồng Tháp Province. — VNA/VNS Photo

Farmers in two major flower villages in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta region, Sa Đéc in Đồng Tháp Province and Cái Mơn in Bến Tre Province, are busy planting seeds for the Lunar New Year flower crop, which falls on February 10.

In Sa Đéc flower village in Sa Đéc City, the largest flower village in Đồng Tháp Province, about 1.5 million pots of various kinds of flowers are being grown for Tết, including more than 270,000 chrysanthemum pots.

Võ Thanh Tùng, a farmer in Sa Đéc City, planted 5,000 baskets of chrysanthemums this year, an increase of about 20 per cent from last year. The average cost for each flower crop is over VNĐ100 million (US$4,300). Traders are buying chrysanthemum pots in advance for prices ranging from VNĐ80,000 to VNĐ90,000 (US$3.5 – 3.9) a pot, up VNĐ20,000 to VND30,000 from the previous Tet depending on the quality.

Farmers are earning a profit of VNĐ30,000 – VNĐ50,000 for each chrysanthemum pot. Chrysanthemums, one of the preferred Tết flowers, can bloom for more than one month.

Trần Bé Hai, who is growing 10,000 chrysanthemum pots in Sa Đéc City’s Tân Quy Đông Ward, said that he hoped the flowers would bloom on time for Tết and be more beautiful this year because of favourable weather.

The price of various types of flowers in the village had also increased by 20 – 30 per cent compared to last Tết, he said.

With advanced farming techniques, farmers in the delta can now make most flowers bloom during Tết in order to fetch good prices.

Nguyễn Thị Ngọc, Head of the Economic Department of Sa Đéc City, said that according to statistics, farmers had sown more than 60 hectares of seeds, and were expected to increase to 100 hectares, an increase of nearly 40 per cent compared to the previous year. This year's traditional flower types were still marigolds, chrysanthemums, and auspicious flowers, along with some new varieties such as red and purple raspberry chrysanthemums.

The quantity of flower and ornamental plants grown for Tết in many flower villages has increased this year. Farmers have also planted more new flower varieties such as foreign rose and daisy varieties.

Trần Hữu Nghị, Deputy chief of the Division of Agriculture and Rural Development of Chợ Lách District, said that in Bến Tre Province’s Chợ Lách District, which is the delta’s largest flower producer, farmers would supply about 15 million pots of flowers and ornamental plants to the market, an increase of 2 million products compared to last year. The main flowers are raspberry chrysanthemum, hyacinth, marigold, yellow apricot, and kumquat.

According to forecasts of the authorities, by the end of the year, saltwater intrusion will not be as severe as three years ago. Although rainy weather causes waterlogging, most people have experience in handling pesticides in a timely manner so the damage is insignificant.

However, because the output of Tết flowers this year is high, farmers needed to sign contracts with traders, Nghị said.

Chợ Lách District produces many ornamental plants in various shapes, including the animals representing the 12-year zodiac cycle, in which each year is related to one animal.

The coming Tết is the Year of the Dragon, so the district is making many ornamental plants in the shape of the dragon. — VNS

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