Flower industry in China took its first step early in the 1980s, and witnessed over 20 years of sustained and rapid development. According to statistics by 2003, the total area of flower production in China had reached 430,000 ha, 96,000 ha larger than that in 2002, indicating a growth rate of 28.7%. The area of flower production in China ranks the first in the world, accounting for 1/3 of the world’s total. At the same time, the economic benefits increased simultaneously. The domestic flower sale in 2003 was RMB 35.31 billion, rising by RMB 5.91 billion over 2002, and the growth rate was 20.1%. The export value of flowers in 2003 was USD 97.568 million, increased by USD 14.736 million over 2002, and the growth rate was 17.8%. The investment and management entities are diverse. The number of enterprises engaged in flower business in 2003 reached over 60,000, an increase of 15.8% over 2002. There were 5,073 large and medium-sized enterprises, accounting for 8.4% of the total. Last year the number of new added practitioners in flower industry was 460,000, and the total reached 2.934 million. The total number of flower growers reached 955,000 households, increased by 90,000 over 2002. With continual improvement of product circulation system, the number of flower markets was reduced by 212 as compared with 2002, indicating that flower circulation system entered a phase of market adjustment.
Through many years of regulation and enhancement, the development of flower industry in China gradually move to rational deployment, coordinated production, and remarkable improvement in standardization, scaling up and professionalization of production base development. Firstly, the development of area-dominated products and brand unique products is going very well. Some key regions of flower production have been formed basically, such as fresh cut flowers in Yunnan, Shanghai and Liaoning; foliage plants in Guangdong, Fujian and Hainan; seeds and stocks of flower plants in Shanghai, Yunnan and Sichuan; nursery stocks for afforestation and commercial bonsai in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Henan. Predominant industries with local characteristics and different regional climatic conditions and resource advantages have begun to take shape. A number of successful examples have emerged, with optimal scale of business, intensive management and professional production, for example, a number of nationwide well-known brand products, namely Yongfu Azaleas, Zhangzhou narcissus, Qingcheng orchid, Senhe cyclamen, Anshan kefir lily etc. Secondly, the State Forestry Administration used the fund for agricultural development to establish demonstration bases of flower production throughout the country. A batch of demonstration bases of flower production with some advantages were built one after another. Especially, the State Forestry Administration and China Flower Association named some regions as “the home of flowers in China” (Table 4-10), “China demonstration bases of flower production” and “National key flower markets” in 2000, further pushing forward the steady development of the construction of flower bases. Thirdly, the “948” program has arranged 15 research projects to import advanced technologies of flower production from other countries, which has played an active role in diversifying flower varieties and realizing high yield, good quality and high efficiency of flower production in China.
In recent years, China has provided an favorable policy environment for investors, and all levels of local government in the key flower producing regions in the whole country have paid great attention to flower production with strengthened supports and encouraged flower enterprises and flower growers to invest in flower industry in many ways, resulting in a wide range of involvement of government institutions, enterprises and private entrepreneurs in flower production. The number of large and middle-sized leading enterprises in China with sales value of more than RMB 5 million has reached more than 5,000 up to 2003. In 2003 the number of flower producing enterprises in Zhejiang province alone increased by 158 as compared with the previous year, and a plenty of large leading enterprises emerged in Beijing, Guangdong, Fujian, Yunnan, Henan and other provinces (municipalities), driving flower enterprises to develop rapidly. Since “the 9th 5-Year Plan”, flower markets in different regions have been rapidly developing as bamboo shoots after a spring rain, and at the end of 2002 the number of all kinds of flower markets had reached more than 2,000, increased by 1.5 times as compared with 1998. However, according to the latest statistics, the number of flower markets in China in 2003 reduced by 212 as compared with 2002, contrastingly, the production area increased by 96,000 ha compare to the previous year, meanwhile, the sales value increased by 20.1% over last year, also lower than the growth rate of 28.7% in production area, which indicated the average unit output value was declined.