Grafted Cactus Conquers
the World Market
Ships, semiconductors, air conditioners, refrigerators, and smart phones - these are representative Korean products that have the largest shares in their categories in the world market. But the list is not complete without one more product demonstrating the excellence of Koreans’ technical skills no less than the other products. It is the grafted cactus.
Grafted cactus, just as its name implies, is a combination (or grafting) of two or more different cactuses. Thanks to its vivid and various colors, the grafted cactus is often used as decoration for parties and receptions. What’s more, it is easy to grow and it has a long life span, so housewives in Northern Europe usually put a grafted cactus pot at the bedside table.
The Korean grafted cactus has captured about 70~ 80 percent of the world market. Although grafted cactuses from China, ASEAN nations, and other countries are available on the market at a cheaper price, many buyers stick to the ones produced in Korea. Why is the Korean grafted cactus so popular?
Original Quality! Grafted Cactus Is a Genuine Korean Product
Korea is not the best environment for growing cactuses. But the grafted cactus is successfully cultivated in Korea thanks to the development of seedling production. The Cactus Research Station - a research institute under the auspices of the Gyeonggido Agricultural Research and Extension Services - invented a technology to produce the seedlings of the grafted cactus (currently 97 different kinds) and distributes the seedlings only to farmers in Korea. In other words, grafted cactuses cannot be originally grown overseas. Strictly speaking, the Chinese and ASEAN grafted cactuses on the market are Korean - the farmers in those countries obtain the Korean grafted cactuses that have lost their market value due to damage such as scratches or withering. Then they graft another cactus to them and re-sell it. This situation is possible only because the supply of the Korean grafted cactus cannot meet the demand. But only the Korean grafted cactus is genuine!
Extraordinary Cultivation Technique
Long shipping times and quarantine inspections are large obstacles to plant trade. But the Korean grafted cactus has overcome even these difficulties. To make the seedlings strong, researchers have built special vinyl greenhouses and filled them with the type of soil that is good for seedlings. The process makes a big difference for the health of the plants because the growing seedlings and the cactuses need different temperature and nutrition conditions.
As soon as a cactus is grafted, the plant is sent to a vinyl greenhouse designed to promote its growth. Unlike in other greenhouses, the grafted cactuses there grow on plastic panels and not directly in the soil. The A3 paper size plastic panels were invented to prevent the viruses and insects that abide in the soil from reaching the plants. Through the finger size holes in the panels, grafted cactuses put down roots in the soil. If a virus still manages to damage a cactus, the plant is immediately removed in order to block the virus’s dissemination.
Korean farmers produce the grafted cactus 6, 9, and 16cm in height in red, pink, orange, yellow, and orange-yellow colors.
The Korean product is being well received in the market but further research is being carried out to meet more diverse orders from buyers. For example, a large grafted cactus (the stem is 45cm, the head is 5cm) has been released recently.
It is attracting a lot of attention from consumers interested in gardening because the lifetime of the plant is longer and the size is much larger than that of a regular grafted cactus. What’s more, new types of seedlings are also being invented. In one to two years, a grafted cactus with a stronger and larger head will come out on the market.
Being earnest and working wholeheartedly,
I manage the farms every day to produce
high quality products. I work on holidays, too.
Koduk Green House Inc. is a Korean grafted cactus export company with 13 grafted cactus farms (49,586㎡). The farms are located in the Goyang area famous for flower production. The company brings in 90 percent of the total revenues for exported Korean grafted cactuses. It is not too much to say that President Kim manages all export products. He started this business in 1980.
Mr. Kim says, “It is not easy to grow the grafted cactus in Korea because the climate and other conditions are not favorable. So I have to work very hard every day to succeed.”
Mr. Kim built vinyl greenhouses equipped with automatic ventilating fans, multiple thermal screens, and vents on the roof and sides that open and close automatically. He is growing the plants with the greatest care.
The place Mr. Kim frequents most is the grafting room. There, the seedlings for heads and seedlings for stems are combined to become a grafted cactus. If the operation is not complete in one attempt, every following try increases the chances of the plant getting a virus infection and its tissue aging fast. For this reason, only Mr. Kim, his wife, and skilled workers who have worked on the farm for a long time perform this sensitive task.
Mr. Kim said, “Most of our consumers are buyers from the Netherlands, a country famous for producing high quality flowers. I believe that is an indicator of how high the quality of our products is. To meet the demand, I will do my best to expand the farm.”
Inquiries Koduk Green House Inc.
Park Sung Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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