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Korean Lily Wins Favor on the Japanese Lily Export Market

As lilies can be produced during any season in Korea, they are available for export at any time of the year. In Chuncheongnam-do and Gyeonggi-do, farmers harvest lilies from April to June and later from November to December because from late June to late August the area is too hot to harvest the flower. Instead of Chuncheongnam-do and Gyeonggi-do, lilies are cultivated from July to late October in Gangwon-do where conditions are propitious for growth on higher land.

The exporting of Korean lilies has steadily increased. The actual amounts of exporting lilies were USD$15.88m in 2007, USD$19m and in 2008, it was going up to USD$24.74m in 2009. Lily is one of the main exporting flowers in Korea.
The main exporting market of Korean Lilies is Japan, but they are also exported to the United States, China and Netherlands - the world biggest flower exporting country.

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Especially in Japan, Korean lilies win the market beating out lilies from European countries because of their better quality - cultivated, as they are, on lily farms and distributed by exporting companies equipped with cutting-edge facilities. Furthermore, the shorter distance between Japan and Korea reduces this shipping cost. This means that Korean lilies have a decided advantage in terms of both price and quality.

Farmers Get Together HCEC for Exporting

The main lily-producing areas in Korea are Chuncheongnam-do, Gyeonggi-do, Gangwon-do, and Jeju-do where the cut-flower exporting complexes are located. Among those areas there is Hwaseong Cut-flower Exporting Complex (HCEC) in Hwaseong in Gyeonggi-do comprised of fifteen farms. The Hwaseong-si office supports cut flower complexes like HCEC cultivate and export of quality lilies. The total cultivating area is 12.9ha (automatic vinyl greenhouse 7.5ha and normal greenhouse 5.4ha). The varieties of lilies cultivated include names like Sorbonne, Rialto, Yelloween, Medusa their seeds coming from the Netherlands.

The exporting amount of lilies from Hwaseong-si has dramatically increased since last year. In 2009 the amount was USD$ 643 thousand (120 tons) which was twice the amount of 2008.
The HCEC exports about a half of the producing amount regardless of the exchange rate, domestic price, or exporting conditions, because the HCEC thinks the trust of its buyers is so important. Daedong Nonghyup (an agricultural association) and a company ‘Daemyeong B&F’take charge of all exporting tasks.

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Won Do-ho, the former president of the HCEC, said: “Our member farms think the export market is more important than the domestic so, we produce high quality lilies which bear comparison on the world market.”

Cultivate High Quality Lilies through Controlling the Soil

The HCEC cultivates lilies in soil that is perfectly cared for. The farms of HCEC work all through the summer season to maintain the quality of the soil. After they harvest the lilies in June, they start work to make fertile soil until August to cultivate better quality lilies. After the harvest farmers sprinkle microbe concoctions and rice bran on the ground and cover it with vinyl for ten days to keep it warm. The result is soil that is fertile and microbe rich so there is no problem with farmers consecutively cultivating quality lilies.

After the work ends the farmers plant lily bulbs and until they grow to 20cm long they water and care for them. When the buds become about 10cm long, it is time to harvest them as this is the sign that the time for blooming is approaching. From harvesting to transport to the Japanese market it takes only four to five days.

Mr. Won said: “Japanese buyers frequently visit the HCEC and confirm the quality of our lilies and our cultivating environment. They are always satisfied.”

Inquiries   Daedong Nonghyup                                   Tel  +82-55-335-7716                                   Fax  +82-55-335-7718    

Park Sung Eun  parkse@agrinet.co.kr

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