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Hot weather ruins blossoms for Tet

Update: December, 22/2012 - 10:10

BINH DUONG (VNS)— Five villages growing ochna-blossoms for Tet - one of the traditional flowers of the season - in the central province of Binh Dinh are facing high financial losses because the yellow flowers have bloomed too early due to prolonged hot weather.

It's the first time in memory that the area has experienced such weather at this time of year.

All of the ochna bonsai trees in the five villages in Nhon An Commune, including Hao Duc, Thanh Liem, Trung Dinh, Thuan Thai and Tan Duong have started flowering already.

Do Van Khoa, a farmer from Hao Duc Village, one of the most skilled growers, lamented that his 700 ochna blossom bonsais in pots have had their first show of blooms. There is usually a second flowering, but this is not as beautiful as the first.

But Khoa is worried that even the second one will happen before the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival, This would mean personal losses of VND80 million (US$3,800).

Normally, each of the yellow-flowered trees can be sold for VN4-5 million ($190-240), much more than the red-flowered peach trees popular in the north.

However, without blooms, the trees are worthless until the following year.

Khoa said that farmers had to invest about VND100-200 million ($4,760-9,520) in their gardens. This normally can be retrieved within five years.

Another farmer, Nguyen Dong Thang from Thanh Liem Village, said that more than 80 per cent of the people in the five villages earned their living by planting ochna blossoms. More than 60ha is under cultivation.

To try and slow down the flowering process, farmers have been watering the ochna flowers three or four times a day, but little has been achieved.

Ochna-blossom bonsais often take five to seven years to mature.

Chairman of the An Nhon Town People's Committee, Le Trong Tung, said the town did not have any plans to support local farmers through the crisis.

"Local authorities loan farmers capital at preferential interest rates, however, we do not have the funds to support their losses," he said. — VNS

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