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Storm Pabuk Missed Vietnam, but Its Rain Damaged Mekong Delta Flower Farms

Typhoon Pabuk hit Thailand last Friday, January 4, wreaking havoc on local life.

It also caused heavy rain in southern Vietnam, but the country was lucky that the typhoon only swept past without making landfall.

In southern provinces such as Dong Thap and Can Tho, however, prolonged rain caused by the storm destroyed many flower crops, most of which are being grown to be sold for Tet, Tuoi Tre reports. Local farmers told the news source that roughly 40% to 50% of their flowers were damaged by the storm.

“This has [dropped yields to] about 50%, no matter [how much] plant protection medicine [was] used,” Tran Kim Nga, a flower grower in Can Tho, told the newspaper. Doan Huu Bon, director of the Binh An Cooperative, expressed a similar view, saying losses reached approximately 40%.

Some households may yield nothing at all if humid weather continues. “Roses are very sensitive to the weather. It makes me worry that this year's output [may be] zero,” said Hung, another farmer. Vietnamese families tend to buy fresh flowers and potted plants to adorn their house to celebrate the Lunar New Year, but it's important that they do not bloom too early before the first days of Tet.

Extreme weather conditions like rain and high humidity brought about by the typhoon can cause some flower species to bloom early or rot, thus significantly lowering their commercial viability.

Responding to these losses, Deputy Director of the Dong Thap Hi-Tech Agricultural Application Center Nguyen Thanh Hung proposed switching to growing flowers in greenhouses to protect them from adverse weather conditions.

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