VietNamNet Bridge – For nearly a decade, hundreds of farmers in Lao Cai Province’s Sa Pa District have been earning a high income after deciding to shift from growing rice to growing roses.
A farmer in northern Lao Cai Province’s Sa Pa District waters rose trees. For nearly a decade, hundreds of farmers in Sa Pa have been earning higher incomes after shifting from growing rice to roses.
Ly Thi So, a local farmer living in Ta Van Commune, said that she got an income of VND8-10 million (US$383-480) each month thanks to her 700sq.m rose field and the income increases when festival occasions approach.
“I started growing rose seven years ago, they are beautiful and grow fast thanks to the favourable climate here,” she added.
Ly A Hoang, another local farmer, said that she was able to build a new house, buy a motorbike and a television set among other things thanks to income from the 1,000 sq.m rose field she has been farming for eight years. She said that she planned to expand her farms further by ploughing virgin land next year.
Giang A Mung, a local farmer from Thao Hau Commune, said his family harvested about 1,000 roses everyday, earning an average VND600,000 ($29). In the months leading up to the Tet holidays, he can make as much as VND30 million every month. “I am no longer poor since I started growing roses,” he said.
It is estimated that around 70-80ha of rose fields have been planted around Sa Pa, accounting for 90 per cent of the total area used by local flower farmers, according to Dinh Thi Hoan, chairwoman of the district’s Farmers’ Association.
She said that average income of local farmers was particularly lucrative if they grew roses.
According to Hoan, some H’Mong ethnic people living in Lao Chai Commune started growing roses instead of rice, maize and cassava ten years ago.
In the beginning, other local farmers hesitated to make the change themselves after being unconvinced by the economic benefits. However, they soon saw others reaping profits and decided to make the shift.
A rose-growing co-operative was set up nearly five years ago under the management of the district People’s Committee, creating jobs for 70 local poor labourers, she said.
The co-operative’s operation has helped contribute to local hunger elimination and poverty reduction, she added.
As well as roses, local farmers plan to grow other types of flowers in the near future.
Sa Pa, also well-known as one of the most popular destinations in the north, lies at an altitude of about 1600m and boasts a moderate climate.