The nation’s floral exports hit a record NT$5.18 billion (US$173 million) last year thanks to the establishment of floral cultivation zones, the Agriculture and Food Agency said yesterday.
The agency said the figure represents 18 percent growth from 2010.
The 19 floral cultivation zones for phalaenopsis, dancing-doll orchids and eustoma, chrysanthemum and flamingo flowers, set up in Taichung and six other cities and counties last year, exported 40.82 million stems worth NT$650 million.
“This shows that the establishment of floral cultivation zones has produced cluster effects, resulting in the upgrading of both quality and quantity,” the agency said in a statement.
It also displayed new varieties of eustoma, chrysanthemum and gladiolus.
To promote floral exports, the agency started to set up floral demonstration zones in major floral production areas in 2007 and expanded them into floral cultivation zones in 2009.
Meanwhile, Chen Kuo-ming (陳國明), the head of a flower production and marketing group in Huwei Township (虎尾), Yunlin County, spoke of his experience growing eustoma.
He said the species has shown steady growth in exports.
“Taiwan exported 1.26 million stems of eustoma five years ago, a number that increased to 6.4 million stems last year,” Chen said.
Chen predicted that this year’s exports could reach between 8 million and 9 million stems, with Japan the largest market.
The agency said it would continue to introduce sophisticated and environmentally friendly automated production equipment to upgrade the zones’ efficiency and step up its collection of information on international floral markets.
The agency said it would stabilize the major export markets of Japan, the US, the Netherlands and South Korea, while tapping into new emerging markets, such as Australia, China and Russia.