Dong Thap's flower, ornamental plant output surges hinh anh 1Sa Dec flower village in Dong Thap province’s Sa Dec city. (Photo: VNA) 

Dong Thap (VNS/VNA)
- The Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap is expected to increase its flower and ornamental plant output to 4.14 trillion VND (178 million USD) worth this year, up three times from 2015, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Farmers are expected to earn 150 - 180 million VND (6,400 - 7,300 USD) per 1,000 square metres of growing them.

Dong Thap, one of the largest producers of flowers and ornamental plants in the delta, has zoned areas for them in Sa Dec City and the districts of Lai Vung, Lap Vo and Cao Lanh.

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 Dec, its largest flower growing area.

The city has attracted more than three million tourists in the last five years, including 170,000 foreigners.

Nguyen Phuoc Loc, who owns a 2.5ha garden in its Tan Khanh Dong 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 Dong Thap’s speciality souvenirs, he said.

The city has many flower gardens offering homestay services.

Nguyen Phuoc Thien, 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 Dong Thap are growing some three million pots of flowers and ornamental plants to sell during Tet (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 Dec, farmers are planting more new varieties of roses, daisies, yellow ochna flowers, and others.

Tran Van Tiep, chairman of the Toi Yeu Mau Tim Clubhouse in Sa Dec’s Tan Quy Dong commune, hopes to sell around 30,000 pots of flowers during Tet, 80 percent 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 Dec City Yellow Ochna Flower Club are growing around 100 bonsai trees for Tet.

Nguyen Hoang Tuan, 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.

Nguyen Thi Ngoc, head of the Sa Dec Economic Bureau, said local farmers had found many new varieties to sell during Tet.

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./.