In April this year, Gyeonggido Agricultural Research & Extension Services began exporting to Japan two new varieties of a succulent plant kalanchoe, which it has recently developed. The new varieties, Red One and Pink Star, were sold in Japan last April at prices 15 to 20% higher than in Korea. The succulent plant offered in a variety of luxurious colors is expected to enjoy great popularity in the Japanese market.
Variously Colored Kalanchoe with Diverse Flower Shapes Sets Off to Capture the Hearts of Japanese Consumers
Dr. Lee Ji-hye at the Cactus & Succulent Research Institute of the Gyeonggido Agricultural Research & Extension Services developed the two varieties. She says, “Red One is vivid dark red and it has a lot of flowers, whereas Pink Star features compound flowers of bright pink. The commercial value is high, so they are hugely popular among flower farmers, even though the two varieties were developed very recently.”
With its various colors and shapes and a long blooming season, kalanchoe is emerging as a product with the highest marketability among succulent plants in Europe and other advanced markets. For a long time, Korean kalanchoe farmers bore the burden of the high cost of foreign seed varieties, having to pay royalties of 60 to 100 won per plant.
In this context, the development of Red One and Pink Star by Dr. Lee of the Cactus & Succulent Research Institute is a major breakthrough. With their vivid colors, the two varieties receive favorable reviews not only in Korea but also in Japan. It is expected that exports will increase and the Korean kalanchoe will become even more competitive in the Japanese market as other varieties are released in addition to Red One and Pink Star.
The global kalanchoe market is dominated by the products of the Netherlands and Denmark. Now, foreign varieties are likely to be gradually replaced with domestic ones in Korea and more opportunities will open for local farmers to participate in the exporting business.
Easy Farming and Excellent Colors Make Kalanchoe More Attractive to Farmers
Moon Min-joo, CEO of Mirim Farm in Goyang City, which cultivates kalanchoe for sales in Japan, says, “We have been growing kalanchoe since 2002, and we are confident that Red One and Pink Star developed by Gyeonggido Agricultural Research & Extension Services are excellent both in the color and shape of the flowers. They are easy to grow and the exporting price is at least 15% higher than in the domestic market, so we are planning to expand the cultivation area.”
Inspired by the good reception in Japan, Gyeonggido Agricultural Research & Extension Services is keen to boost exports by developing more varieties. The kalanchoe market in Japan is very large, with 8 million plants sold every year. In addition to the Japanese market, Korean exporters are preparing to start shipping to China where the consumption of succulent plants is expected to grow enormously in the next few years.
Gyeonggido Agricultural Research & Extension Services is also setting up a long-term plan for expanding the production base of kalanchoe and thereby securing a stable supply of the plant for export.
Five Shipments, 7,000 Plants in Total, to Reach Japan by October
On April 7, 1,200 plants of the Red One and Pink Star varieties were shipped to Tokyo. It was a test shipment to check the reaction from the Japanese flower market. A minimum of 7,000 plants in five shipments are going to be exported to the country by October.
Gyeonggido Agricultural Research & Extension Services has finished transferring the sales rights to flower farmers in Gyeonggi Province and is striving to increase the sales of Korean kalanchoe in Japan. Dr. Lee explains, “We ventured out with Pink One in Japan last October, and this year, we are targeting the Japanese market with Korean varieties, Red One and Pink Star. I hope that the new, homegrown varieties of kalanchoe gain huge popularity in Japan and greatly increase farmers’ incomes.”
*Gyeonggido Agricultural Research & Extension Services / Cactus & Succulent Research Institute
Tel +82-31-229-6172 (Lee Ji-Hye, Research Scientist)
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