Farmers in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta will offer new varieties of flowers for the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, which falls on February 8 this year.
In Sa Dec flower village in Dong Thap Province's Sa Det City, which is one of the largest flower villages in the delta, many farmers have grown new varieties of flowers and ornamental trees.
The new varieties of roses, lilies and zinnias are in high demand.
Tran Van Phuong, who is growing about 10,000 lily pots in Sa Dec City's Tan Quy Dong Ward, said traders from Can Tho City, Ba Ria – Vung Tau and Vinh Long provinces had contracted to buy his lily pots for Tet.
Last Tet, Phuong planted more than 8,000 lily pots, all of which sold out.
Besides lilies, Phuong has also planted new varieties of flowers ordered by traders.
Nguyen Thi Ngoc, chairwoman of the Tan Quy Dong Ward People's Committee in Sa Dec, said before farmers began their flower crop for Tet, local authorities worked with co-operatives and flower associations to warn flower farmers to reduce the cultivation areas of traditional flowers such as chrysanthemums.
Farmers have been told to grow more roses and ornamental plants.
With this shift, flowers farmers are expected to have good sales for this Tet, she said.
The Dong Thap Province Hi-Tech Agriculture Centre has supplied farmers with 150,000 seedlings produced by a tissue-culture method. Most of them are chrysanthemum varieties.
Pham Huu Phuoc, the centre director, said the centre had improved more than 22 varieties of roses and lotuses and collected beautiful flower varieties.
The centre has also provided planting techniques to farmers, and plans to produce about 1-2 million tissue-cultured seedlings a year.
Do Van Tham, head of the Sa Dec City's Economy Bureau, said tissue-cultured flowers sold well and had stable outlets because of high quality and reasonable prices.
"Instead of relying on traders, many farmers here have also contracted directly with companies and partners to grow flowers," he said.
The weather is favourable this year so the flower quality has been good, according to farmers.
The prices of flowers are expected to be similar to last year's Tet season, they said.
Farmers in Sa Dec Flower Village expect to supply more than 3 million pots of various kinds of flowers this Tet.
Similarly, farmers in Ben Tre Province's Cho Lach District, which is famous for its flower and ornamental plants, are also expected to provide millions of flowers and ornamental plants for Tet.
Last November, about 30 farmers in Cho Lach District and Sa Dec Flower Village cooperated in finding outlets at home and abroad.
Nguyen Thi Nguyet Thu, who grows ornamental plants in Cho Lach District's Hung Khanh Trung Commune, said her family had focused on planting ornamental plants for indoor decoration and exports for the Tet season.
Thu said her family had exported about 5,000- 10,000 ornamental plants to Japan a month.
In Tien Giang Province's My Tho City, farmers have also planted new varieties of flowers for Tet.
Truong Van Nhung, chairman of the My Phong Flower and Ornamental Plant Co-operatives in My Tho City, said this was the first year that My Phong Flower Village had planted lisianthus.
The village has planted about 80,000 pots of lisianthus.
The My Tho Economy Bureau has given farmers seedlings for new plant and flower varieties, including tomato, bell chilis and strawberries.