Flower farmers, sellers in Yunnan develop retail markets, online sales

Chinese flower farmers and sellers have turned to retail markets and online sales to reach more customers since the COVID-19 pandemic affected the industry's markets both at home and abroad.

Nanhai district in south China's Foshan City is home to one of the largest moth orchids wholesale markets in the country.

Authorities at Wanqing Gardening World Market said 30 million moth orchid plants were sold each year from the market, with 40 percent exported.

Southwestern Province of Yunnan is another important flower producer in China.

With the Spring Festival arriving in less than one month, people started purchasing flowers to decorate their rooms for the holiday season.

According to workers at a flower fair in Yunnan's capital city of Kunming, narcissuses, orchids, and flowers of red color are among the hot choices.

Looking forward to a booming business, sellers followed the development of the pandemic closely.

"At this time in previous years, we were stockpiling the flowers for the upcoming Spring Festival market. With the spread of the virus this year, we don't know where the pandemic will go. If the situation is under control, we still can do a good business this year," said Tian Guotong, a flower agent.

About 1 million pots of boat orchids were exported from Yunnan every year. But the pace was also slowed in the current season.

"This year, the export to South Asia, Southeast Asia and Vietnam proceeds slower, with a volume of about 30 percent of that last year. Customers put off the time to pick up the goods because they are also more cautious," said Lu Jizai, head of a flower planting company.

Dong Rui, a senior official with Yunnan Dounan Flower Industry Group, said the producers and sellers are well prepared for the holiday season and the expectations for the market are generally good. He said the situation is still promising as long as the virus spread is under control.