Flower and ornamental tree village in Ben Tre bustling for Tet

Flower and ornamental tree village in Ben Tre bustling for TetA farmer taking care of their flowers for the upcoming Tet holiday.

NDO – The flower and ornamental plant-growing village of Cho Lach, in Ben Tre province, is one of the largest traditional craft villages in the Mekong River Delta region, providing millions of products each Tet holiday. This year, despite the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and unfavorable weather, flower growers have still maintained production to supply the national market.

These days, along the big and small roads in Cho Lach District, it is not difficult to see many kinds of blooming flowers. Local people are focusing on taking care of the last stages to prepare flowers to sell to the market. Just early in the morning, the family of Tran Van Dau, who is living in Long Thoi Commune, Cho Lach District, was busy taking care of 1,500 baskets of chrysanthemum morifolium that had just sprouted. He used the entire 800 metre square area around the house to grow flowers to sell Tet, bringing a high income for his family. Dau said: “Growing chrysanthemum morifolium, you must prepare to sow seeds about six months in advance and take care of the flowers to bloom right on Tet. The family's income mainly depends on the Tet flower crop, but this year, the COVID-19 pandemic is complicated, so growers in this traditional craft village are very worried about the consumer market”. Currently, most people sell through traders. The economic situation this year is difficult, so most flower growers produce less than last year.

In the flower and ornamental plant village of Vinh Thanh Commune, Cho Lach District, flower growers are recovering their production of seedlings and Tet flowers after the last severe droughts and saline intrusion. This year, Nguyen Minh Luan's family is not taking care of kumquat to sell Tet holiday, but only focuses on producing marigold flowers, ornamental chili, and ornamental mandarin. The reason was that the droughts and saline intrusion a few months ago was right at the time of processing for the flowering kumquat trees, most of the people did not have enough water to irrigate and have mainly nourished the plants for the next Tet. However, the biggest concern of growers of flowers and ornamental plants is the consumption market. Nguyen Minh Luan shared that every year, his family brings the produced flowers and ornamental plants to the flower market in Di An City, Binh Duong Province, for Tet holiday. However, this year, his family has also registered the stall, but the market management announced that if the COVID-19 epidemic is complicated, they will not organise the market and pay the rent of the stall, so people are very worried. Everyone is hoping the disease to be controlled, so that they bring their products to sell to the market in the coming Tet holiday”.

Some households choose to sell through traders to reduce risks. Mr. Nguyen Van Hau's family, living in Vinh Thanh Commune, signed a contract with a trader in Hanoi to sell nearly 1,000 pots of apricot blossoms in the upcoming Tet. According to Hau, his family is taking care of the apricot trees to wait for traders to move to the North for consumption, but it depends on the progress of the epidemic. Hau said, this year, due to the droughts and saline intrusion, some apricot trees have been damaged, the rest must be handled at a high cost, so apricot growers have little profit.

Flower and ornamental tree village in Ben Tre bustling for Tet

Some bougainvillea production households sell early to traders.

According to Vice Chairman of Vinh Thanh Commune People's Committee Tran Van Thanh, the whole commune had nearly 1,000 hectares of land for fruit trees, seedlings and ornamental flowers last year, with more than 200 hectares of damage estimated with the total estimated amount of VND95 billion. Currently, people are restoring production of flower products, ornamental plants to serve the upcoming Lunar New Year market.

The bougainvillea village of Lan Dong, in Phu Son Commune, Cho Lach District, is also hurrying to prepare more than 700 thousand products for the Tet market. Currently, the craft village has more than 100 bougainvillea production households. Nguyen Van Xuyen's family is producing 1,200 pots of bougainvillea flowers in three colors, pink, white and red, preparing to serve Tet. Xuyen said: “At present, traders have come to the garden house to make a deposit, people just need to take care to wait for the traders to come and sell. Some households have sold to traders earlier than usual due to fear of complicated developments of Covid-19 pandemic and difficult transportation”. The locality is also developing the traditional craft village in association with tourism to increase income for flower growers.

According to Dr. Bui Thanh Liem, Head of Agriculture and Rural Development of Cho Lach District said: “This year, people in the district produced about 17 million flowers and ornamental plants of all kinds for the upcoming Lunar New Year market. In particular, the number of ornamental plants, such as apricot, bougainvillea and bonsai, remains the same as last year, but flower products have decreased slightly due to the fear of pandemics, economic difficulties, reduced purchasing power, and difficulties in consumption. In addition to fear of the complicated development of the COVID-19 pandemic, the flower villagers are also concerned about the effects of adverse weather such as unseasonal rain, lack of irrigation water due to droughts and saline intrusion”.

Currently, the agricultural sector recommends that people actively store rainwater and fresh water for production. At the same time, it is necessary to produce a variety of products to serve the Tet market. In addition to selling through traders, traditional flower markets, the consumption of products should also expand through sales on online channels, and delivery to customers.

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