Farmers in Đồng Tháp Province’s Sa Đéc City grow daisies for the busy Tết holiday period. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Văn Trí
HCM CITY — Farmers in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta are growing more new flower varieties for the Tết (Lunar New Year) festival, which falls on January 25.
In Đồng Tháp Province’s Sa Đéc City, one of the delta’s largest flower growing areas, hundreds of new flower varieties, including various types of new foreign roses and daisies, have been planted for Tết.
Farmer Nguyễn Phước Lộc in Sa Đéc’s Tân Khánh Đông Commune is growing dozens of thousands of rose pots with more than 130 varieties, many of which are new.
Nguyễn Văn Tiếp, chairman of Tôi Yêu Màu Tím Clubhouse in Sa Đéc, said the clubhouse’s farmers will supply more than 100,000 flower pots, including daisies of new varieties.
Seedlings of most of the new flower varieties are produced by the Đồng Tháp’s Hi-Tech Agriculture Centre.
Đỗ Văn Thuận, head of the Sa Đéc Economy Bureau, said that flower farmers in recent years have switched from traditional to advanced farming techniques and are growing more new flower varieties.
Sa Đéc farmers are expected to supply 2-3 million of pots of various varieties of flowers for Tết, according to the bureau.
In Bến Tre Province’s Chợ Lách District, farmers will provide about 12 million pots of flowers and ornamental plants to the market, according to the district’s Agriculture and Rural Development Bureau.
Chợ Lách is famous for its ornamental plants, daisies and ochna, a traditional Tết flower in the southern region.
Ornamental plants for Tết include those grown in the shapes of 12 animals representing the 12-year zodiac cycle in which each year is related to an animal.
Nguyễn Văn Công, who grows ornamental plants in the shapes of zodiac animals, said his family normally hires about 20 workers to grow ornamental plants for Tết.
“The coming Tết is the Year of the Rat so we are making more ornamental plants in the shape of the rat,” he said.
He has orders for more than 100 rat-shaped ornamental plants.
The rat-shaped plants are 1.5 metre high and are sold at VNĐ2-5 million (US$86-215) a plant.
In Trà Vinh Province’s Trà Vinh City, two traditional flower villages in Long Đức Commune – Vĩnh Yên and Vĩnh Hưng – are growing 300,000 pots of flowers for Tết, many of which are new varieties.
Lê Văn Mạnh, secretary of the Long Đức Commune's Party Committee, said that farmers in the two villages in recent years had planted more new varieties to improve quality and diversify flower varieties for customers.
Most daisy, rose and other flower varieties planted in the two villages are foreign varieties.
The two villages include more than 120 households that have been growing flowers for more than 60 years.
Flower farmers in the two villages faced unfavourable weather conditions when they began growing Tết flowers this year. Most flowers for Tết bloom after 60-90 days.
Nguyễn Thế Hiền, a flower farmer in Vĩnh Yên Village, said because of the weather, farmers have had to pay more for tending and production costs to ensure flowers can bloom on Tết. The price of flowers is expected to be high on Tết, he said.
In Vĩnh Long Province, about 20 per cent of 5,000 ochna trees in the Phước Định ochna village in Long Hồ District have bloomed because of irregular rains.
Besides unfavourable weather, the price of input materials for growing flowers has been high this year, which will increase prices by 10 per cent against last year, according to flower farmers in Sa Đéc City.
Sa Đéc flowers are supplied to HCM City as well as the southern and northern regions. — VNS