|Over 100ha of flowers in Hạ Lôi Village are at risk of going to waste now the village is in coronavirus lockdown. — Photo vov.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Looking out at their fields of white chrysanthemums that are ready to be harvested, Nga and her husband feel sad because they won't be able to sell any of them.
At a price of VNĐ3,000-4,000 per stem, she could have earned VNĐ50-60 million (US$2,100-2,500).
"This year, the price of chrysanthemums has dropped to about VNĐ1,000 per stem but still no one will buy them," Nga told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper.
Many flower gardens covering over 100ha in Hạ Lôi Village are at risk of being abandoned or going to waste due to the lockdown decision in Hà Nội’s Mê Linh Commune, Mê Linh District, on Tuesday afternoon after a local tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.
The roads to Hạ Lôi Village are quiet now, and most people are staying at home.
The only people out and about are health workers who are going from house to house conducting tests after four cases of the disease were confirmed.
Growing flowers is the main source of income for people here.
"It's painful. I cannot harvest or sell them. They will die. But it is for the safety of the community," Nga said.
Nguyễn Quốc Diện has a large flower growing area in Hạ Lôi Village, and said he was worried because the flowers were wilting.
"Our main source of income is from growing flowers and ornamental plants like roses, chrysanthemums and lilies. We are in isolation and cannot harvest the flowers for sale. I could lose VNĐ200 million, but I have accepted that and will start again when the disease is wiped out," Diện said.
Tạ Quang Thái, chairman of Mê Linh Commune People's Committee, said there are about 150ha of flower in the whole commune, of which 100ha are in Hạ Lôi Village.
This should be a busy time for them.
Due to the impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic, farmers have been facing difficulties finding buyers because flowers are a non-essential item.
Flower trading was halted and farmers had suffered losses since the first resident was infected by the disease, Thái said.
"Villagers have been told to stay at home, and restrictions on tending to our flowers have also been recommended. The local government is looking at the damage and will make a proposal to the district People's Committee to help people restore production," he said. — VNS