|A seedling nursery in Bến Tre Province’s Chợ Lách District. – VNA/VNS Photo Công Trí|
BẾN TRE — The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Bến Tre is implementing a plan to develop Chợ Lách District into a national hub for producing seedlings, flowers and ornamental plants.
The plan aims to develop the craft of producing seedlings, flowers and ornamental plants for the district, which is the country’s largest seedling producer.
Đoàn Văn Đảnh, director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the plan will choose and preserve one to three elite trees for each type of plant and develop elite orchards which can produce 30-40 million buds for grafting a year.
It aims to produce 17-20 million seedlings a year, he said.
It will develop concentrated and specialised seedling producing areas covering 300-500ha with value chains to improve income for farmers, he said.
It will cost about VNĐ85 billion (US$3.6 million).
Bùi Thanh Liêm, head of the district’s Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the number of existing elite trees and orchards, and their quality and output, have met the plan’s targets.
The district is focusing on developing e-commerce for the plants and implementing the plan, he said.
It will establish a Flowers, Ornamental Plants and Seedlings Growers Association, which will help growers have the ability to access markets, establish criteria of quality seedlings and manage elite trees.
The district will strengthen advocacy activities to enhance the awareness of farmers and traders about the importance of producing quality seedlings that meet national standards.
Many households in the district have developed elite trees and orchards which have been granted certificates by the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Trần Thanh Thanh, owner of the Thanh Thanh Seedling Producing Establishment in Hòa Nghĩa Commune, said he has registered for recognition of his elite orchard and more than 70 elite trees.
Many of the elite trees were researched and created by him. They include Thanh Thanh red longan, Thanh Thanh jackfruit, and Thanh Thanh dwarf avocado.
The district has more than 8,000 households owning 1,538ha of seedlings, flowers and ornamental plants.
It produces 17-20 million seedlings of various plants a year.
The demand for seedlings such as durian and jackfruit is now high as more farmers choose to grow these fruits because of high selling prices.
Trần Văn Tâm, a seedling producer in Phú Sơn Commune, said he produced more than 2,000 jackfruit seedlings to sell in the coming rainy season and traders bought all of them at a price of VNĐ25,000 ($1.1) a seedling, up three times from the same period last year.
He is producing an additional 4,000-5,000 jackfruit seedlings, he said.
It takes about three months to produce jackfruit seedlings, he said.
Liêm, head of the district’s Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the prices of jackfruit and durian are high so more farmers buy their seedlings to grow and this causes an increase of their prices.
In addition, the southeastern and Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) regions and neighbouring countries of Cambodia and Laos are increasing growing areas of the two fruits, so the price of their seedlings increase when there is a supply shortage, he said.
The district has sold about 3-5 million durian seedlings and about one million jackfruit seedlings in the first quarter of this year, according to the bureau. VNS