Orchid industry generates substantial profits for growers in HCMC

Orchid industry generates substantial profits for growers in Ho Chi Minh City with VND800 million ($34,387) per hectare a year, much higher than that of other agricultural trees; accordingly, the expanse of orchid-growing land has seen lately.

An orchid farm in Cu Chi District (Photo: SGGP)

An orchid farm in Cu Chi District (Photo: SGGP)

For instance, cultivation land for orchid rose from 190 hectare in 2010 to 310 hectare in 2015 and to 375 hectare in 2018 mostly in outlying districts Cu Chi, Binh Chanh.
Farmers in severe alkaline lands and impoverished lands in outlying districts find out the way to make rich by growing orchid to have better income.
Moreover, with high degree of humidity and high temperature, Ho Chi Minh City and southern provinces are suitable for planting orchids such as Dendrobium, Mokara, Catleaya, Vanda, Oncidium which grow in nature in warm and humid conditions.
Hoang Hoa Orchid Company Nguyen Hoang Hoa said that the orchid industry holds untapped potential potential because the more the country’s economy develops and grows, the more demand of house decoration increases especially in the Lunar New Year and other holidays; plus, national meetings or international forums have been organized in the city and neighboring provinces resulting in high demand of flowers including orchid. There has been over-demand.
In 2018, only farms in HCMC supplied 134.5 million cut-flowers; however, the city still spends money buying the flower yearly. The spending on the flower increases year on year; for instance, it spent $5.5 million in 2014 and $12.9 million in 2018 buying the flower seeds mostly from Thailand to satisfy the local market.
According to the city Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, though Vietnam is the sixth largest exporter of orchids worldwide, its value accounts for a small proportion compared to the Netherlands and Thailand because the country has a few kinds of orchids. Annually, the export value of the country’s orchid industry was more than $4 million every year, mostly to Japan and the US.
It can be said that orchid industry in HCM City has great development potential; however, its development is not sustainable because of setbacks such as seedlings, disease and capital.
Farmer Nguyen Thi Sau in suburban district Thu Duc said that for years, many orchid gardens in the district have been attacked by insects resulting in low productivity.
To improve productivity and block the entry of pests and insects into the crop environment, farmers need to apply biotechnology in the orchid industry and build net houses yet it takes huge amounts of private capital to adopt biotechnology and build the infrastructure for their operations; accordingly farmers can’t afford it.
Most of orchid farmers in HCMC grow the ornamental tree in their small farm; just some grow in 5 hectare. They buy seedlings from different sources and not enough for domestic needs.
Orchids include some of the world's most important floricultural (cut-flower) and ornamental (pot and garden) plants. Director Hoang Hoa said that to develop orchid industry, farmers need to invest in post-harvest technology to keep it from drooping.
Moreover, bigger tissue culture growth rooms for micro-propagation should be invested instead of present small-sized facilities which can’t satisfy market’s demand; subsequently, the country has imported seedlings.
Representative of the HCMC association of ornamental plants and animal Hoang Minh Long suggested agricultural-related agencies continuing to make research on new orchid to patent it.
Additionally, science bodies should provide technology to farmers and buy flowers. The industry should pay attention to meet domestic demand by adopting biotechnology and call for private enterprises’ contribution to the industry’s growth.

By staff writers - Translated by DANG MINH

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