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14/01/2018 - 12:26

Flower farmers busy in preparation for Tet holiday

Farmers in the Mekong delta province of Long An are busy with ornamental flowers for Tet holiday (the Lunar New Year), which falls on February 16, this year.

Farmer are run off their feet to take care of orchids pots so that they will blossom on the occasion of the Lunar New Year Festival.

Vietnamese traditionally decorate their houses with flowers to celebrate the holidays, while many flower festivals are scheduled to take place just before Tet. In both cases, the flowers are expected to reach full bloom on the eve of the new lunar year. Weather in the South’s near Tet is relatively good this year.

Leading people for sightseeing tour in his orchids garden, farmer Pham Khac Binh in Phu An village in Phuoc Ly commune eagerly said as usual, at this time of every year, farmers are run off their feet to take care of orchids pots so that they will blossom on the occasion of the Lunar New Year Festival.

He added some 6,000 orchids mostly Dendrobium orchid are ordered by traders from Mekong delta provinces of An Giang, Tien Giang,  and Ho Chi Minh City each fetching VND30,000 a root.  He estimated to reap profit of over VND200 million.

Touring farmer Binh’s orchids garden, there was boisterous brouhaha of laughter and talk; some people were watering while others put down fertilizer. Trader Pham Van Bung hailing from the northern province of Hai Phong selected good root of orchids sayin that compared to previous years, orchids in the garden did not go up; accordingly, he always lays order of orchids in Can Giuoc in Long An province and packed to the central provinces.

He continued this year, demand of ornamental flower is high because many flower gardens in the central provinces were destroyed while flowers in the South still blossom in Tet holidays. Additionally, farmers in the South experience how to treat flowers to force them blossom on time at Tet.

Meantime, farmer Huynh Thi Lan in Thuan Bac village in Thuan Thanh commune was rustling to put marigold saplings into pots. She said normally, she planted the flower saplings in October as per Lunar Calendar. In addition to ornamental flower to sell in the Tet holidays, her family also grows around 1,000 marigold sapling pots to sell in the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar calendar and the Kitchen God - a ritualistic farewell dinner - on the evening of the 23rd.

She hoped the flower will go up because the country has suffered lots of rain and storm this year in other places; hence, traders will flock to Long An province to lay order.

Though Ben Luc District of Long An province is not flower-growing region to sell in Tet holiday, farmers in the district have made money from growing flowers for Tet holidays in recent years.

Farmer in Ben Luc district have made money from growing flowers for Tet holidays in recent years

Now, farmers are busy with planting raspberries, marigold and taking care of apricot so that the shimmering apricot yellow pentagram that Southern people are proud of the flower which represent riches, wealth, affluence. Almost people like decorate with Tet apricot blossom, they often buy flowers in pots or buy each branch, with many buds because they think that big full buds bring good.

As per farmers Tran Van  Thuan in Thanh Duc Commune, chrysanthemum has longer growing period; therefore, farmers should grow ahead of other flowers. For instance, farmers must grow chrysanthemum three months before Tet holiday while he planted other flowers two months before. He had already prepared thousands of chrysanthemum marigold pots for Tet holiday.

Ornamental flower growers said market for Tet begins to hot up in early December Lunar calendar. Traders from every corner of the country have flocked to the gardens to bulk-buy flowers while retailers have also proposed buying flowers from now to Tet holiday.

So far, plants in the province are promising to come into flowers in time at Tet holiday. This year, fertilizer price hiked slightly from VND5,000- VND8,000 a kilogram and pot price also went up by VND 2,000 per pot; thus flower pots could be higher than last year.

In Duc Hoa District, flower-growing areas are mostly communes My Hanh Nam, Hoa Khanh Dong, Hiep Hoa, Tan My and Hau Nghia Town. Farmer Huynh Tuan Kiet in My Hanh Nam Commune said that in addition to growing 30 different flower kinds such as marigold, sun flower, Eustoma flower, carnation flower, he also grows some ornamental chilly trees and corn trees for demand of displaying in houses as decorations.

Flower growers said that treating soil is decisive factor in planting ornamental trees and cultivating seedlings. Besides, farmers must take heed to water amount to saplings. They must observe trees to provide timely treatment in case trees have diseases and weather condition to adjust water amount.

Weather in the South is relatively fine, most farmers grow more trees with various kinds of flowers. For instance, in 2017, Kiet grew 130,000 flower trees in the area of 0.7 hectare and now, he grows 200,000 flower trees in one hectare of land.

The traditional Tet holiday of Vietnam will approach in over one month but traders from Tay Ninh province in the south and from Ho Chi Minh City have laid ordered to buy 70 percent of Kiet’s flower trees. He estimated to reap profit of at least VND300 million ($13,209). At present, flower price fluctuates from VND30,000- VND500,000 two pots.

Chairman of Farmer Association in Tan Kim Commune Nguyen Huu Loc revealed that to serve demand in Tet holiday, farmers in the commune also planted Christmas Kalanchoe flower in 4 hectare of land; however, because of heavy rain and rising tide, around 40 percent of flower in the area was destroyed. Consequently, farmers might be lost much.

Farmer Ngo Quang Dat in Kinh Dien village, one of experienced farmers in the village, said so far, his family hasn’t been in despair like this year because 3,000 Christmas Kalanchoe flower trees were dead due to bad weather whereas fertilizer and pay for laborers tripled.

Though poor weather spoils Vietnam’s pre-Tet flower, the area for growing flowers in Can Giuoc District did not shrink. Head of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Dong Quang Don said at present, farmers in communes Tan Kim, Truong Binh, My Loc and Phuoc Ly have planted different flowers in four hectares.

The department usually opens fresher courses to provide technical assistance for farmers in a bid to increase productivity in the most sustainable way; moreover, relevant agencies also helped farmers to have a stable place to sell flower.

One more spring comes in the country! Wishing all hard-working farmers in Long An province who have love for flowers to have wealthy Tet holiday.

By staff writers – Translated by Uyen Phuong