(VEN) – In recent years, flower exports have become a highly profitable industry, creating diversity for Vietnamese agricultural products in the global supply chain. However, Vietnam still needs more assistance from the Netherlands to further promote this industry.
Vietnamese and Dutch experts in vegetables, flowers, and fruit met and exchanged at the Vietnam-Netherlands Hortibusiness Platform held recently in Hanoi. Flower breeding specialist Ir.Jaap M. van Tuyl at the Netherlands-based Wageningen University’s Center for International Plant Research said “Vietnam has diverse ecological conditions favorable for planting many tropical, subtropical and temperate flower varieties. It also has great potential for flower production and export.”
According to purchase and sales manager at C. Steenvoorden B.V. Robert Van Der Hulst who directly provided technical guidance for Vietnamese gardeners on breeding lily and tulip, most of the flower varieties were imported from the Netherlands into North Vietnam and grown there from 2008 including gladioluses, lilies, and tulips, and they are now better adaptable to local ecological conditions. However, flower farming efficiency remains low due to several shortcomings such as limited transfer in terms of flower farming techniques and tissue culture, plus also untrained flower gardeners.
Deputy Director of Fruit and Vegetable Research Institute Ngo Hong Binh said “Since 2008, we have sent staff to the Wageningen University’s Plant Research International Center to learn about lily and gladiolus breeding techniques. However, our team of technology transferred staff members are unable to afford to cover all flower farming areas across the country today. So, we will cooperate with a number of Dutch flower companies such as C. Steenvoorden B.V. in terms of transfer of breeding techniques.”
“To improve the quality of flower seeds and seedlings, we need to focus on acquiring advanced flower breeding and farming techniques via support from Dutch flower experts. In addition, we cooperate closely with Dutch partners in production of export flowers,” Binh said.
At the forum, Director of Greenport Company Loek Herman said “The Netherlands appreciated the assistance of the Vietnamese government and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in recent years for a number of Dutch enterprises such as Dalat Hasfarm to successfully operate and build brand in Vietnam. To stay more successful in the global flower supply chain, Vietnam and the Netherlands should further enhance their bilateral cooperation in terms of technical transfer and flower export.
According to Deputy Director of Lam Dong’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Van Son, there are about 50 facilities involved in flower tissue culture in Dalat City, Lam Dong Province. They all lack of information on breeding techniques and rights, so they desire to acquire genuine flower varieties as well as modern farming techniques from Dutch counterparts. Lam Dong can currently produce 1.8 million twigs of flower per year and reach US$25 million in export value. However, Lam Dong must enhance its flower quality and diversity if it wants to participate in the global flower supply chain.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Department of Plant-growing, the local flower and ornamental tree market demand during the 2000-2012 period saw an annual average increase of 15 percent. Last year, average income per ha of flowers and ornamental trees reached VND220 million, mainly in large flower and ornamental tree hubs such as Hanoi, Hai Phong, Sapa (Lao Cai Province), Moc Chau (Son La Province), Da Lat (Lam Dong Province), and Ho Chi Minh City. In the coming years, Vietnam will continue to maintain its total 15,000ha flower and ornamental tree growing area, with major hubs located in the Red River Delta, Mekong Delta, and Da Lat City./.