|A bonsai apricot tree is valued at thousands of USD. (Photo: Thanh Long)|
The closer Tet draws near, the busier Nhon An bonsai apricot village becomes. Streams of vehicles come in and out carrying yellow apricot trees to every part of the country.
Thanks to this year’s favorable weather with fewer rainstorms, apricot trees have many buds and will blossom exactly at Tet.
Mai Van Hung, an experienced apricot grower in Thuan Thai village, says that this Tet he expects to sell about 300 potted apricot trees.
“This year apricot prices are a bit higher than previous years. It costs about 52 USD for a tree that’s 4 to 5 years old. I hope to make a profit of 11,000 USD,” said Hung.
This year Nhon An has a bumper crop and expects a good price. Since the end of the 11th lunar month, merchants have been ordering apricots in bulk.
In addition to traditional flower varieties like ‘mai tu quy’ (apricot of all seasons), ‘nhi do mai’, which begins to produce red fruit soon after blossoming; and ‘mai chieu thuy’, the aquatic variety of apricot, Nhon An growers have been selling thousands of pots of bonsai apricots which are very popular with customers.
Duong Dang Khoa, a merchant from Buon Me Thuot city in Dak Lak province, said, “People in Dak Lak love apricot blossoms, especially Hao Duc apricot blossoms from Nhon An commune, which is famous for beautiful trees with well-proportioned shapes and reasonable prices. That’s why I prefer apricot blossoms from Binh Dinh.”
Artisan Nguyen Xuan Ha takes care of one of his bonsai apricots. (Photo: Thanh Long)
Nguyen Xuan Ha, Deputy Chairman of An Nhon town’s Ornamental Tree Society and a pioneer of bonsai trading, said that 100 households in the town have started sellling bonsai apricots, which are in high demand in the market. It takes a lot of time and strong determination to grow bonsai apricots, but the result is higher profits.
“In the past few people cared much about bonsai apricot. Many growers started to recognize its high income potential when I launched the bonsai apricot market, even though it was still small. I have organized classes to teach apricot blossom cultivation,” Ha added.
Yellow apricot blossoms are a local “specialty” that provides a living for many locals. Half of the 2,000 households in Nhon An commune engaged in growing apricot blossoms have raised their living standard. The reputation of Nhon An yellow apricot is growing nationwide.
This year, local farmers have grown about 2 million trees. Every year they earn nearly 3.7 million USD from ornamental apricot trees.
Dang Vinh Son, Chairman of Nhon An town People’s Committee, says the town is implementing a project to develop yellow apricot trees to boost the price of bonsai apricot, generate more jobs, increase incomes, and improve the living standard of local people.
Son said, “Under the plan, this year we will build an area covering 75 hectares in Nhon An and Nhon Phong commune with an investment in infrastructure and a system of irrigation and electricity. We will call on farmers to focus their growing in this zone. A competition among yellow apricot growers will also be held this year.”
|The first apricot trees are sold to the southern market. (Photo: Thanh Long)|
Nhon An apricot village has been officially recognized as a craft village for many years. The expansion into bonsai apricot and the strategy of building a brand for Nhon An yellow apricot blossoms, will create higher profits and help the locals grow rich.
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