| Lotus pond in Dong Thap province (Photo: vovgiaothong.vn)
After finishing his biochemistry master's program in France, Ngo Chi Cong from Cao Lanh city, Dong Thap province, decided to start his own business with lotus. Cong said it was difficult to preserve lotuses because the flower’s petals quickly wilt after harvest. It took Cong 6 months to do research and develop a technology to dry and preserve lotuses. With modern and environmentally-friendly technology, Cong is now able to add different shades to the lotus petals while preserving the natural scent of the blossoms and keeping their freshness and liveliness for up to one year. Ngo Chi Cong, Director of Khoi Minh Thanh Cong limited company, said: “I collect lotuses directly from local farmers. I hope that this will generate stable income for farmers and encourage them to continue their work of growing lotuses in Dong Thap”.
Ngo Chi Cong is working on a lotus (Photo: Nong nghiep newspaper)
Cong’s company has utilized lotuses to turn them into high-value souvenirs and products. Wallets, notebooks, paintings and baskets made from lotus leaves have become attractive products as gifts and souvenirs in Vietnam and other countries. Lotus biscuits, wine, tea and milk are considered luxury products.
Most recently, Cong succeeded in processing and making Vietnamese conical hats made from naturally-dyed lotus leaves. He is also working on making high-quality thread from lotus roots for the textile industry, which will bring a source of revenue dozens of times higher than preserved lotuses.
Ngo Ngoc Anh started her business by making clean incense from lotuses. Ngo Ngoc Anh, head of Lien Tam incense manufacturing workshop, said: “Lotus incense is made from lotus skin which helps protect the environment. I am so proud as I can do something for the community and my homeland. I hope that people use lotus incense not only for worshipping but also experiencing new products from lotus”.
Ngoc Anh said lotus incense is made totally from natural materials, without using any chemicals or artificial fragrance. This kind of incense does not emit much of smoke which is environmentally friendly.
Dong Thap province now has more than 150 hectares of lotus. Secretary of Dong Thap province’s Party Committee Le Minh Hoan said the province will create favorable conditions for start-up businesses working on lotus: “Dong Thap province will restructure lotus ponds to assure stable material areas. We are targeting at producing organic products with clean technology”.