Mekong Delta’s main flower, ornamental plant growing district affected by saltwater in rivers

The unusually early saltwater intrusion this year is threatening the farming of flowers and ornamental plants in Ben Tre Province’s Cho Lach District, the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta’s largest producer of flowers and ornamental plants.

Mekong Delta’s main flower, ornamental plant growing district affected by saltwater in rivers

Farmers prepare to sell flowers during the 2019 Tet in Ben Tre Province’s Cho Lach District.

Cho Lach is growing more than 11 million pots of flowers and ornamental plants for Tet (Lunar New Year), which falls on January 25 next year, according to the district Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Phan Thi Be of the district’s Long Thoi Commune is worried about a shortage of water to irrigate her 1,000 pots of chrysanthemum since saltwater from the sea has come upriver.

Her chrysanthemums are in the budding stage and need a lot of water.

She now has to use water from her family’s tank to irrigate them and it takes a lot of time.

“I now use a mug to pour water directly at the root to save water,” she said.

Earlier she was using a water pump and pipe, and it was quick work, she said.

Her family’s tank can only provide water for the flowers for another two days.

She will have to buy water and fears she will suffer losses as a result.

Dang Van Dung, chairman of the Hung Khanh Trung B Commune Farmers Association in Cho Lach, said the deep intrusion of saltwater occurred suddenly and so farmers were not able to store water.

 

The salinity in the Co Chien River shot up from 0.1 per cent on December 6 to 0.6 per cent on December 12, and the saltwater had also intruded deep into irrigation canals, he said.

It entered Cho Lach through the province’s two main rivers, Co Chien and Ham Luong.

The salinity rates had never been so high in previous years since Cho Lach is located furthest from the sea in the province, the bureau said.

Ben Tre is one of the delta’s provinces to be most affected by climate change.

Bui Thanh Liem, head of the bureau, said saltwater had entered deep into fields, directly affecting more than 600ha of flowers and ornamental plants in the district.

The bureau had instructed farmers to help monitor the salinity in rivers and canals and store water during low tides when rivers and canals have freshwater.

Farmers should use water thriftily and adopt techniques that help increase drought resistance for their plants, it added.

Cho Lach has 13,000 households that rely on flowers and ornamental plants for a livelihood. – VNS

Vietnam's Mekong Delta agriculture adapts to climate change

Vietnam's Mekong Delta agriculture adapts to climate change

The Mekong Delta has restructured agriculture towards climate-change adaptation and market demand by establishing specialised farming areas for its key agricultural products.  

Flower villages in Vietnam's Mekong Delta prepare for Tet holiday market

Flower villages in Vietnam's Mekong Delta prepare for Tet holiday market

Sa Dec flower village in Dong Thap and ornamental flower village in Cho Lach District of Ben Tre are bustling not because of flood of visitors but flower growers are busy preparing for the upcoming Lunar New Year, which will begin on January 25.

 
 

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