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Drought-hit Bến Tre bears no festival fruit

Update: April, 30/2016 - 09:50
The Mekong Delta province of Bến Tre has called off all fruit exhibitions and festivals scheduled for this year, with authorities saying drought and saline intrusion have decimated its orchards and there is nothing more to show.– Photo laodong.com.vn

CỬU LONG (MEKONG) DELTA – The Mekong Delta province of Bến Tre has called off all fruit exhibitions and festivals scheduled for this year, with authorities saying drought and saline intrusion have decimated its orchards and there is nothing more to show.

Nguyễn Hữu Lập, deputy chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said a proposal by Chợ Lách District to cancel an annual festival of good and safe fruits which would have been held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month has been approved.

Unlike in previous years Bến Tre has no more good fruits or high-quality young fruit trees to exhibit, he said.

The Chợ Lách People’s Committee said saltwater has damaged some 8,000ha of arable land, affecting the output and quality of 2,000ha of orchards, while over 350,000 small trees have withered from drought, causing losses of over VNĐ32 billion (US$1.43 million).

A spokesman for the People’s Committee said some of Bến Tre’s specialities have also been affected: mangosteen trees are not flowering while durian trees have withered and their fruits are falling off.

There are not enough young trees and bonsai for exhibitions and festivals, he said.

Besides farmers in the province are busy combating the effects of the prolonged drought and salinity, he added. — VNS

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