Thursday, 23 Nov 2017

Hanoi: gardeners to focus on lilies for Tet business

Updated at Thursday, 17 Nov 2016, 12:28
The Hanoitimes - More than 100 ha of farming land in Hanoi have been repurposed to grow lilies during winter for serving people`s needs in the coming Tet Holiday.
Farmers are looking after lilies in Tay Tuu Village, Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi
Farmers are looking after lilies in Tay Tuu Village, Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi
For the last few years, the shift has helped flower farmers gain profits of up to 2 billion VND (90,000 USD) per hectare, in part because each crop lasts from 70 and 90 days. Farmers, especially those from the Tay Tuu flower village in Bac Tu Liem District, flocked to Ha Mo Commune to rent land and grow lilies.

The Tay Tuu village is now considered the biggest flower granary in Hanoi, providing a variety of flowers such as daisies, roses, purple heart-bells, and colourful carnations. However, urbanisation has resulted in narrowed farming land, making local flower growers seek other areas for growing flowers.

Nguyen Van Cuc, a gardener from Tay Tuu village said that he rented more than 3 mau (Vietnamese acre, equivalent to 3,600sq.m) in Ha Mo commune in neighbouring Dan Phuong district to grow lilies. He said that he paid land rental of 2 million VND (90 USD) for each sao (equivalent to 360sq.m) yearly. He poured about 100 million VND for every sao of lilies including labour cost and fertiliser. “The investment is quite high but each sao of lilies could generate profit of about 200 million VND (9,000 USD) as long as the weather and market are stable,” he said.

Cuc said that on average, each household there usually grew three or four mau of lilies and some had flower farms with areas of 15-20 ha. He said that local farmers did not worry much about farming technique but rather focus on output for their flowers.

Deputy head of the Fruit and Vegetable Research Institute Dang Van Dong, said that since 2012, the institute had aimed to promote lily farming in Ha Mo Commune. The institute’s staff helped transfer technique and instructed local farmers to grow lilies with breeding imported from the Netherlands, he said.

The cool weather in the north of Vietnam in winter was a big advantage for lily growing, he said, adding that the quality of lilies grown in Tay Tuu and Ha Mo now is competitive with those grown in other specialised flower-growing zones like Moc Chau in the mountainous northern province of Son La or Da Lat in the Central Highlands.

“Some types of lilies grown in Hanoi’s suburban district are more beautiful than those imported from Europe or China,” he said. However, the lilies were sold mostly in domestic market, and preferred during Tet (Lunar New Year) and festivals.

With current growing area, farmers could get profits but if the area is expanded, price of lily will be likely to drop, posing market risks for farmers, Dong said. “In the long-term, we must engage competent enterprises that will produce and export flowers,” he said.

“Lily plantation depends very much on the weather. If the weather is good, lilies will bloom beautifully. Due to much investment, it’s necessary to determine the right time to grow lilies to be able to get the highest possible profits,” Lam said. Covering an area of about 500 hectares, Tay Tuu is a big specialised flower plantation area of Hanoi. The career has helped the locals remarkably improve their living conditions. 

Bui Trung Hoa, deputy chairman of the Tay Tuu People’s Committee, said the areas for flower growing have continuously expanded in recent years while the local cooperative is trying to support farmers by supplying enough water for flower fields. 

Hoa said: “to prepare for Tet, in addition to the local cultivation of land, Tay Tuu villagers have hired more land in neighboring villages to grow flowers. Flowers are diverse. The local plant protection station has organised training courses for its members to become familiar with high-tech in flower farming, especially how to use pesticides and care for flowers.”

By Tuan Minh
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