|A farmer waters flowers in Tay Tuu flower village in Tu Liem District, Ha Noi. The lives and incomes of the villagers have changed dramatically thanks to a new cultivation model. — VNS Photo Truong Vi
HA NOI (VNS)— Life - and the incomes - of residents in Tu Liem District's Tay Tuu Commune have taken off since it was decided to switch to growing high-quality flowers instead of vegetables and rice.
Located in the west of the capital, the commune covers more than five square kilometres. About three-fifths is used for agriculture.
Tay Tuu has become famous for its large variety of beautiful flowers that not only grace local markets but are also exported abroad. All households in the village have become involved in the industry.
Local farmers used to grow fresh vegetables and rice like most other farmers, but this was subsistence living.
However, the commune has seen considerable change in economic development since the farmers started growing flowers, said Bui Xuan Hoa, vice chairman of the local people's committee.
Tay Tuu residents initially planted common flowers, such as daisies, violets, and dahlias, using their experience and family capital.
Then they were offered loans from the city's agricultural promotion fund to invest in high-quality flowers.
The crops quickly produced good profits and the standard of living in the village improved remarkably. Just one hectare of flowers now provides each family with up to VND300-500 million (US$14,000-24,000) per year.
Nguyen Van Suot, a successful lily grower, said his business had helped create jobs for 10 farmers with salaries of from VND2-3 million ($96-114) each per month.
"Lily growing is difficult as it depends much on climate conditions," he said. "So our family at first had an unstable income due to poor growth."
Thanks to training courses on growing techniques organised by the local agricultural promotion centre, lilies in Suot's field now grow prolifically without pestides.
Chairman of the communal People's Committee Le Van Viet said most families had built spacious news houses with modern furniture thanks to the success of flower growing.
Viet said he hoped authorities would invest in more flower farms to improve living conditions in the region.
Tay Tuu growers now plan to take part in trade promotion seminars and make domestic and overseas visits to exchange experiences and broaden their knowledge. — VNS