Just weeks ago, the floral village of Van Thanh in Da Lat bristled with the influx of laborers to pick and pack roses bound for nearby provinces and Ho Chi Minh City. Pham Thi Huong’s family had to hire two workers just to keep up.
A laborer harvests roses at the floral village of Van Thanh in Da Lat , Photo: Tuoi Tre
But now, flowers wilt and gardens go untouched for days in this central highlands province of Lam Dong.
Huong and her relatives usually harvest every two days, but no one shows interest anymore in stepping into their 1,500-square-meter garden. No one is tending to the thousands of reddening roses in the greenhouse because prices have plummeted as much as 75 percent.
Many florists in Da Lat said they sell roses at VND200 to 500 each, down 50 percent from nearly two months ago. Last month, they said, the price averaged VND800 to 1,000.
Huong says it is simply more economical to let the roses blossom. Her trading partner in Ho Chi Minh City won’t accept more stock, even at such prices, because sales are slumping.
Lilies, traditionally treated as an aristocratic flower, also have dropped to VND20,000 per bundle of 25 plants.
Lam Van Hoang, the owner of a lily garden in Ward 7, said she just had to accept the market price and hope it wouldn’t last.
The famous chrysanthemums of eastern Da Lat are suffering the same fate, going for VND1,000 per bundle of 5 plants.
“Traders look into the flower garden and then shake their head, going away for many reasons,” chrysanthemum farmer Nong Van Dan said. “But the main one is that their unsold stock is rising to an alarming rate.”
Tran Huy Duong, chairman of the Da Lat Flower Association, told Tuoi Tre that local flowers cannot compete with Chinese imports, especially the lily, which have flooded the market and driven down prices.
While the spring weather has allowed an abundance of local supply, demand has not kept pace. Dr. Nguyen Duc Cu, deputy head of the Da Lat economic department, said consumption has dropped in the absence of large, nationwide festivals.
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