|A flower grower in San Thàng Commune, Lai Châu City, takes care of flowers as the north experiences a prolonged cold spell. — VNA/VNS Photo|
LAI CHÂU — San Thàng Commune of Lai Châu City is home to the largest rose growing area in the northern mountainous province of Lai Châu.
Although the flower growers in the north are experiencing a prolonged cold spell, in Lê Xuân Khương's rose garden in San Thàng Commune, the flowers are still blooming and he has harvested roses regularly.
Khương and local rose growers are busy preparing flowers for the Tet (Lunar New Year holidays).
Khương said, in 2016, he started growing roses with more than 1,000 pots of imported roses and 400 pots of ancient roses, including 30 pots of 15-20-year-old roses.
In 2019, he decided to expand his flower growing area and rented more than 3ha of land in San Thàng 1 Village to grow roses.
Khương mainly sells his wares to flower shops in Hà Nội.
He harvests more than 700,000 flowers every year and sells them to the local market at a cost of VNĐ2,000 per flower, making for a profit of about VNĐ500-600 million per year.
He has stable customers in Lào Cai, Yên Bái and Phú Thọ provinces as well as Hà Nội.
Every year, two months before Tết, Khương has to hire seven to 10 local labourers for tree pruning, spraying and fertilising to make sure the flowers bloom during Tết.
Growing roses is not difficult, but it requires meticulousness, according to Khương.
“Trees only need enough fertiliser and good disease prevention and they will bloom all year round," he said.
“Besides, growers must regularly prune old branches, old leaves and clean the garden to limit pests and diseases. Generally, income from rose cultivation is quite stable.”
He predicted that the upcoming Tết’s flower price may increase to about VNĐ3,000-4,000/flower.
“The weather of the cold spell is threatening the bloom of roses. In addition, the demand for flowers in the Chinese market also increases.”
Phạm Thị Dung, a rose farmer in San Thàng Commune, said in 2018, her family moved from Mê Linh District, Hà Nôi and rented 2ha of land to plant roses because the soil and climate here are very favourable.
Before Tết, her family had to hire three to six local labourers for fertilising, cutting and watering.
“Every year, we get a profit of about VNĐ350-400 million that stable income for family members," Dung said.
According to Nguyễn Văn Hương, Vice Chairman of San Thàng Commune People's Committee, five years ago, some local households began growing roses, but the area was small. Gradually, rose trees were found suitable for climatic and soil conditions, so farmers invested in the area.
Now, the commune has more than 50ha of rose growing area and in total, growers earn nearly VNĐ10 billion annually. Growing flowers has created stable jobs and income for local farmers.
Communal authorities plan to encourage farmers to convert inefficient crop areas to growing roses.
Hoàng Thị Thanh, head of Lai Châu City’s Economic Department, said the city had two specialised rose-growing areas with an area of 63ha in San Thàng and Sùng Phài communes.
City authorities would guide localities to review eligible agricultural areas to convert to rose cultivation and offer policies to encourage investment and expansion of flower growing areas using high technology. VNS