Ben Tre has called off all fruit exhibitions and festivals scheduled for this year. (Source: laodong.com.vn)

Ben Tre (VNA) – The Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre has called off all fruit exhibitions and festivals scheduled for this year, with authorities saying drought and saline intrusion have decimated its orchards and there is nothing more to show.

Nguyen Huu Lap, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said a proposal by Cho Lach district to cancel an annual festival of good and safe fruits which would have been held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month has been approved.

Unlike in previous years Ben Tre has no more good fruits or high-quality young fruit trees to exhibit, he said.

The Cho Lach People’s Committee said saltwater has damaged some 8,000ha of arable land, affecting the output and quality of 2,000ha of orchards, while over 350,000 small trees have withered from drought, causing losses of over 32 billion VND (1.43 million USD).

A spokesman for the People’s Committee said some of Ben Tre’s specialities have also been affected: mangosteen trees are not flowering while durian trees have withered and their fruits are falling off.

There are not enough young trees and bonsai for exhibitions and festivals, he said.

Besides farmers in the province are busy combating the effects of the prolonged drought and salinity, he added.-VNA