A farmer in Da Lat has to discard his flowers after being unable to find buyers. — VNA Photo

Tran Van Luyen, a flower grower from Da Lat City, said prices for flowers have dropped as much as 70-80 per cent compared to the same period last year as major wholesale markets around HCM City were closed down one after another. 

Luyen said last year his farm managed to yield a profit of nearly US$4,000. This year, he said he only hoped to make enough to pay for fertiliser and seeds. 

"And that's not counting all the manual labour I've put into the farm for the last four months. It's all gone, too," he said. 

Bui Duc Long, a flower grower with a 2,000 sq.m farm, said he had to cut all of his fresh flowers after spending ten days looking for a buyer to no avail. 

"Around this time of year, my flowers would often fetch a high price. Not this year. I just want to sell them even for very little pay. Any amount will help," he said. 

Nguyen Duc Binh, president of Ward Xuan Tho Farmer Association, said farmers in his ward alone tend to around 4,000 ha of flower farms with most of their flowers going to large cities like HCM City and Hanoi, which have both gone into lockdown.

Binh said local farmers have been trying to find other markets but only able to find buyers for around 10-15 per cent of their flowers. The rest will likely be left to wither or be discarded. 

Hoang Thai Nguyen, vice chairman of Da Lat's Ward 7, said there is 570ha of flower farms in his ward and most of them have not been able to find buyers for their produce. Local officials have been working around the clock to find ways to support them but it is not looking good as they are not included in the list of COVID-19 affected groups and may not be eligible for government support. 

President of Da Lat Flower Grower Association Phan Thanh Sang said his association has made a number of proposals to the government including interest rate cuts, delayed loan payment and capital injections to help flower growers. 

Meanwhile, the city's People Committee has asked some farms to switch to growing vegetables to meet the province's demand and potentially neighbouring provinces during the pandemic. 

Da Lat's floriculture has seen rapid growth in recent years. By the end of 2020, farmers in the city and neighbouring areas tend to nearly 10,000 ha of flower farms with an output of 3.6 billion stems annually, 10 per cent of which were exported.

Source: Vietnam News

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