|Lâm Trúc lotus pond in Bình Định Province has transformed and is expected to become an attractive destination for tourists. — Photo nld.com.vn
BÌNH ĐỊNH — After seeing how polluted his hometown’s lotus pond had become, Nguyễn Xong decided to leave his stable job to start a new business in Bình Định Province.
30-year-old Nguyễn Xong graduated from the HCM City National Academy of Public Administration before working at the Project Management Board of Hoài Nhơn District in Bình Định Province for several years.
Seeing the potential in the lotus pond, Xong decided to research planting more lotus and renovating the lake's surface and surrounding landscape.
In 2019, he was able to rent the lotus pond for five years for VNĐ55 million (US$2,200). He then invested nearly VNĐ100 million to realise his plan.
After three years of hard work, Lâm Trúc lotus pond has transformed, producing more than seven tonnes of fresh lotus seeds per year on average, worth VNĐ180 million.
If by-products such as lotus hearts and lotus flowers are further processed, he will be able to earn twice as much as the raw selling price, he said.
Last year, Xong invested in equipment such as a flour mill, dryer, and vacuum packing machine to help process lotus products in order to reduce labour costs and ensure quality, food safety and hygiene.
Recently, Xong installed a bamboo bridge, along with four floating houses on stilts to create a poetic and beautiful landscape, attracting visitors to the area.
Visitors to the lotus lake can immerse themselves in the peaceful village space, breathe the pure lotus scent and enjoy unique and rustic dishes from lotus prepared by Xong.
According to Nguyễn Hữu Kim, chairman of Hoài Thanh Ward People's Committee, the elderly in the area were previously assigned to manage the pond.
"Since the day Xong signed the rental contract, Lâm Trúc lotus pond has really revived, brought economic efficiency and created jobs for many local workers,” Kim said, adding the greenery has freshened the air as well.
Xong wishes to receive a longer-term contract in order to boldly invest in modern facilities, machinery and equipment to raise the product value.
He plans to create a professional brand and continue to develop new products from lotus with quality meeting requirements of export. VNS