Cymbidium orchids help Ta Phin people escape poverty

(VOVWORLD) - Ta Phin is an extremely disadvantaged commune in Sa Pa district, Lao Cai province with more than 60% of families living in poverty at one point. But cymbidium orchid plantation as part of local crop restructuring has made Ta Phin a highlight of the district’s socio-economic development. 

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Vuong Van Phuong is in his garden

 Cymbidium orchids grow naturally on rocks in the forest. The locals often take them home as decorations during Tet – the traditional lunar New Year holiday. As the flower became more popular, its economic value soared. Growing orchids doesn’t require any fancy techniques, but consistent weather is needed for the orchids to bloom on time. Luckily Tả Phìn is blessed with a temperate climate perfect for growing these flowers.

Currently, most households in the commune grow cymbidium orchids, turning out about 20,000 pots. Every Tet, Ta Phin provides about 70% of Sa Pa’s cymbidium orchids, earning more than 350,000 USD in 2016. Many households now earn tens of thousands of dollars a year including Chang A Sa’s family.

Sa said: “I have pursued this trade for a long time and now can live on it. Cymbidium orchids are in high demand during the Tet holiday. Buyers include my friends and state servants. Orchid growing provides jobs for local people. Now almost every family is involved in it.”

Ta Phin is a tourist destination boasting beautiful scenery and Mong and Red Dao ethnic culture, but when you arrive, the first thing you notice is Ta Phin’s orchid gardens.

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The orchid garden of Vuong Van Phuong

 Vuong Van Phuong produces hundreds of orchid which earn him up to 4,400 USD a year.

Phuong said: “When I was small, hanging out in my uncle’s beautiful orchid garden, I nurtured my love for orchids. Now I have a garden of about 700 orchid pots, which gives me stable income. At first I lacked capital, experience in seedling selection, and techniques for making the orchids bloom on time during Tet. Now I have steady customers.”

Chang A Xa, Vice Chairman of the Ta Phin People's Council, says the commune’s cymbidium orchids have been sold in Hanoi, Hai Phong, and Ho Chi Minh City.