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Village in Zhejiang flourishes on tulips, peonies

China Daily| Updated: May 4, 2023 L M S

Tulip (2).jpeg

Tulips in full bloom attract visitors to Wujiang village, Jinhua, Zhejiang province, in March. CHINA DAILY

Wujiang village near Hangping township in Jinhua, East China's Zhejiang province, has been attracting many sightseers in recent weeks thanks to its 7 hectares of tulips in full bloom.

The plot was cultivated by Xue Yong who returned to his hometown to start his own business. The land was idle but he leased it from local farmers and transformed it into a flower farm, helping increase local incomes and support local economic development.

Until 2019, Xue used to work in the lighting industry in Guangdong province. He saw huge market potential for floriculture in his hometown and then decided to plant flowers together with other villagers.

"In the beginning, the villagers didn't believe that consumers would be willing to spend 5 yuan (72 US cents) or even 6 yuan for a flower," said Xue, director of Zhejiang Wuhuazhe Gardening Co, which runs the tulip field.

So, Xue and Zhang Qingsong, Party secretary of Wujiang village, went door to door to convince villagers, and give hands-on instructions on how to cultivate flowers.

"When flowers are sold out, villagers come to me and even ask me for a job opportunity," said Xue.

At present, flower planting in the village has provided jobs for more than 60 villagers. With income from the land lease, they earn more than 4,500 yuan per month.

Hu Genshui, 69, is one of the employed villagers. "I'm happy earning more than 4,000 yuan a month in my hometown. What's more, I know all of my colleagues who are also my neighbors."

Besides tulips, the village is now home to nearly 67 hectares of peonies. It is expected that sales revenue will reach 13 million yuan this year.

Zhang said: "This year's peony garden has been carefully managed. And this year's weather is better, so I guess the output will be much higher than that of last year."

Xue said they introduced high-quality flower varieties, cultivation methods and agricultural technology to make flowers like peonies blossom in different seasons to maintain their competitiveness.

"We chose to plant flowers such as tulips and peonies because we are confident about market demand for them in the Yangtze River Delta region," Xue said.

"Foxtrot, an outstanding double late tulip, can sell for 10 yuan each, and a Pastelegance, the finest of the peony family, can generate 45 yuan. Demand outstrips supply now."

To expand the market and sales channels, Wujiang livestreams on social media. This has helped take daily sales into the range of 30,000 yuan to 50,000 yuan.

Xue said he believes the growth of floriculture can attract more talent, which would in turn encourage more people to take up farming in their hometown. "It can truly promote rural vitalization and common prosperity."

Since Zhejiang province was designated as a demonstration zone for achieving common prosperity two years ago, villages across the province have adopted a raft of measures in pursuit of special industries, aiming to narrow the rural-urban gap.