BẾN TRE – The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of BếnTre plans to develop its Chợ Lách District into a national hotspot for seedlings, flowers and ornamental plants.
The district, the delta’s largest seedling producer with more than 1,300ha dedicated to it, supplies more than 20 million seedlings a year besides 15 – 18 million flowers and ornamental plants.
Phạm Anh Linh, deputy chairman of its People’s Committee, said: “Becoming a national – level hub for seedlings, flowers and ornamental plants is a major mission meant to achieve a breakthrough in socio – economic development.”
The district has drafted a plan to develop the products by setting up a centre for managing production, research and preservation, and zoning areas for growing high-value seedling species.
The centre will disseminate techniques for producing seedlings to good agricultural practices standards to farmers and co-operatives.
The district plans to produce 40 million seedlings a year by 2025 with more than 90 per cent meeting quality standards five years later.
It will establish a co-operative alliance for producing seedlings and by 2023 set up an e-commerce platform for trading them besides flowers and ornamental plants.
To improve seedling quality, it will choose quality trees and register them as ‘elite’ trees and develop elite orchards.
It will help households register brand names for their seedlings.
It will develop co-operatives, co-operative groups and craft villages, and create linkages between growers and buyers of seedlings like co-operatives, craft villages, enterprises, seedling centres, and seedling importing companies.
A growing number of seedling producers is registering with authorities for ownership of elite plants and orchards which helps protect their brand names and ensures quality for customers.
Thanh Thanh Seedling Producing Establishment in Chợ Lách District’s Hoà Nghĩa Commune said it has registered 40 elite plants and one elite orchard.
Many of the elite plants like Thanh Thanh red longan and Thanh Thanh draft avocado were created by proprietary research, it added.
Phạm Hồng Khánh, chairman of the Thắng Lợi Co-operative in Chợ Lách District’s Long Thới Commune, said his co-operative is determined to be the district leader in producing seedlings and having a value chain and origin traceability.
The development of elite plants and orchards would ensure seedling quality and quantity, he added.
The province has more than 90 registered elite plants and 300 elite orchards, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Quỳnh Quang Đức, deputy director of the agriculture department, said in the past the quality of seedlings depended on the reputation of their producer but it is now secured by legal provisions and so customers could feel secure.
The province would create production processes to instruct farmers in each stage of growing seedlings, he added. – VNS
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