Flower industry in Vietnam
Although there are many advantages to develop flower production for both domestic and export markets, the constraints on development policies, especially the inherent difficulties in seed sources have not pushed the industry to be as "big" as expected.
Vietnam is considered a country with many advantages in flower production and export, especially Dalat (Lam Dong). The export markets are: Holland, Belgium, China, Japan, Indonesia ... However, to export the flowers, it’s important and compulsory the adequate investment in not only new and high quality, but also licensed seeds / varieties. FDI enterprises are doing quite good to ensure stable flower export volume while local enterprises still can’t compete due to the seed issues.
The situation is slightly different in the domestic market, where the question about the variety license is not an issue. It’s not easy for FDI enterprises to compete as flowers are mainly sold in the holidays. During the New Year holidays, the volume of imported flowers to Vietnam (via non-quota or official category) always significantly increases. For the period from 1 December 2017 to 31 January 2018, Vietnam imported flowers and ornamental plants worth US$18 million for the Lunar New Year. Modern Vietnamese customers are keen on flowers of new varieties, which are big and long lasting. In short term, it’s not possible to locally develop new varieties of high quality flowers, so the key is to import good varieties, which are suitable for Vietnamese climatic conditions and have competitive advantages. However, importing new varieties does not seem easy either. According to Mr Phan Thanh Sang, Chairman of Da Lat Flower Association, new varieties imported in the country must be quarantined, checked for source ... and this takes a long time.
In the longer term, more focus is needed in the development of domestic enterprises providing favorable mechanism and policies to support local businesses, including financial solutions like interest rates, loans… Growing high quality flowers requires adequate greenhouse technology and facilities. "Planting flowers is the development of high-tech agriculture. Policy mechanisms are not sufficient and not suitable for developing high-tech agriculture when enterprises have to invest assets on high-value land. The state should have incentive policies for businesses with capital to reinvest, " Mr Sang said.
According to Mr Le Van Duc, Deputy Director General of Crop Production Department (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), in order to promote the flower industry, Vietnam will focus on using licensed verities, ensuring the intellectual property protection for imported seeds, applying sustainable production and appropriate post-harvest technology and of course, developing the brand name of local products.