Sa Đéc Flower Village in Đồng Tháp Province’s Sa Đéc City. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Văn Trí
ĐỒNG THÁP — The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Đồng Tháp is expected to increase its flower and ornamental plant output to VNĐ4.14 trillion (US$178 million) worth this year, up three times from 2015, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Farmers are expected to earn VNĐ150 - 180 million ($6,400 - 7,300) per 1,000 square metres of growing them.
Đồng Tháp, one of the largest producers of flowers and ornamental plants in the delta, has zoned areas for them in Sa Đéc City and the districts of Lai Vung, Lấp Vò and Cao Lãnh.
It has developed a model under which flowers and ornamental plants are grown in combination with tourism services, and is implemented very successfully in Sa Đéc, its largest flower growing area.
The city has attracted more than three million tourists in the last five years, including 170,000 foreigners.
Nguyễn Phước Lộc, who owns a 2.5ha garden in its Tân Khánh Đông Commune, grows thousands of roses of more than 130 rose varieties and offers homestay services.
Guests could see some unique flowers, enjoy speciality foods and buy Đồng Tháp’s speciality souvenirs, he said.
The city has many flower gardens offering homestay services.
Nguyễn Phước Thiện, director of the department, said the province’s fresh flowers could be preserved for a long time and so have become popular.
The province plans to expand the area under flowers to 2,981ha and ornamental plants to 1,169ha by 2025, focusing on new varieties, especially popular ones, though it will also focus on preserving traditional varieties, according to the department.
Flowers and ornamental plants are one of its five key agricultural products under its restructuring plan.
Farmers in Đồng Tháp are growing some three million pots of flowers and ornamental plants to sell during Tết (the Lunar New Year), which falls on February 12 next year.
The province’s High-Tech Agriculture Application Centre produced disease-free seedlings of more than 100,000 varieties to supply to farmers.
In Sa Đéc, farmers are planting more new varieties of roses, daisies, yellow ochna flowers, and others.
Trần Văn Tiếp, chairman of the Tôi Yêu Màu Tím Clubhouse in Sa Đéc’s Tân Quy Đông Commune, hopes to sell around 30,000 pots of flowers during Tết, 80 per cent of them being new varieties.
He travelled to many places to look for flowers that could grow well in the local soil, including new varieties of daisy, stone lotus and others, he said.
“The new flowers are … growing well.”
Members of the Sa Đéc City Yellow Ochna Flower Club are growing around 100 bonsai trees for Tết.
Nguyễn Hoàng Tuấn, its chairman, said the members searched for the yellow ochna flower trees in many places, and they had been growing them for many years in unique shapes.
Nguyễn Thị Ngọc, head of the Sa Đéc Economic Bureau, said local farmers had found many new varieties to sell during Tết.
To support them, the bureau had trained them in new techniques in the context of climate change, she said.
The city helped co-operatives and co-operative groups implement models that produce flowers and ornamental plants that are disease free and of high quality, she said.
It encouraged farmers to use organic fertilisers and pesticides, she said.
“The city also helps farmers find outlets for flowers and ornamental plants.”
It has more than 2,500 varieties of flowers and ornamental plants and sells them to many provinces and cities, including HCM City.
It has nine companies and 12 co-operatives, co-operative groups and farmers’ clubhouses growing them.
It encourages farmers to expand the flowers-ornamental plants-tourism services combination. — VNS
Chrysanthemums grown for the upcoming Tết (Lunar New Year) in Đồng Tháp Province’s Sa Đéc City. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Văn Trí