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Scent of success (3)

(China Daily)

09:23, May 23, 2012

Once the rose cuttings are properly rooted and planted, they basically need very little care except an occasional eye on serious pest infestations and weekly watering if the weather got too dry.

Harvesting could be done half the year, given the clement weather in the Kunming-Anning hinterland.

That is why many farmers are now turning to a floral harvest, compared to traditional crops such as tobacco, grains or vegetables that need much more daily attention.

Profitability is another push. While a harvest of tobacco leaves may fetch about 2,000 yuan for every mu, roses can bring in as much as 10,000 yuan in a good year.

Yet another reason is the dedicated support from local government agencies here. At Bajie, there are three cooperatives helping the farmers.

At the Xinrun Flower Professionals Cooperative of Anning, the co-op provides farmers with technical support such as research and development and the proper use of pesticides, especially since the petals are used as food.

According to general manager Li Zhenghai, the co-ops play an important role in quality control, and food safety.

They also ensure the rose farmers are protected against volatile market fluctuations, to the extent of buying the harvest at a guaranteed price.

Li says his co-op, set up in 2010, helps rose farmers with over 230 mu of planted land.

Harvesting goes on from April to October each year, with each mu yielding about 600 kilogram of petals.

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