The proximity to the sun, the permanent exposure to light and climate are some of the factors that make Ecuadorian astromelias unique and attractive. Production grew this year and it opens up in provinces such as Chimborazo.
These flowers are also known as field lilies and grow in cool areas of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. They are characterized by the nuances and contrasts of their petals.
The largest buyers are in Russia, China, the United States, Italy and France. In 2017, 30 million stems were commercialized; Last year, 42 million were sold. Although it only represents 3% of the total exported flowers, there are investors who bet on this crop, due to the good reception abroad.
Tikabamba, a company that recently partnered with Much Flowers, is one of the largest producers in the country. It is located in Riobamba (Chimborazo) and there 700,000 stems are harvested every month.
The company generates employment for 110 families in the parishes of Riobamba and Colta. Many workers, who are part of the team today, labored as laborers in tomato crops and received low wages; today they have fixed incomes.
“When the company was founded and started to grow, many communities benefited because our economy improved. Having fixed incomes allowed us to obtain credits to invest in homes and other goods, “says Ramón Daquilema, one of the oldest employees.
The workers arrive from Tunshi, San Luis, Pulinguí, Columbe and other towns surrounding the company located in San Pedro de Macají, 15 minutes from Riobamba.
Before entering the astromelies, in this area the kidney tomato plantations under greenhouse were the most recurrent, but the prices depended on the local market and in seasons were low due to overproduction.
Gustavo Larrea, partner of the company Tikabamba, tells that a market study he carried out together with his partners encouraged him to invest in flowers.
“We did an analysis of the culture and the foreign market. We saw that we had the capacities to produce and many advantages for the climate, that motivated us to replace tomato crops with flowers. “
He invested USD 250,000 in the change of the production line of his farm and allocated seven hectares for the planting of the astromelies. He obtained the money through bank loans and used it to buy plants in the Netherlands, purchase inputs such as organic fertilizers, and to install a new greenhouse infrastructure.
“Even though these plants are native to the Netherlands, our flowers have stood out in the foreign market because they have thick and longer stems, and the colors are more vivid because of exposure to light,” explains Larrea.
The astromelies that are harvested on your farm measure between 60 and 80 centimeters. This is attractive to buyers, because the vase durability is extended up to four weeks. Expand 41 varieties of astromelies adapt to the climatic conditions in Riobamba.
In the greenhouses of the company, flowers of 41 varieties are harvested in a dozen different colors. The flowers are sent by air and sea to a dozen customers in France, the United States, Italy, and their main buyers in Russia. 90% of the production is sent to that country and it is where Chimborazo’s flowers have been most welcomed. At the fair Moscow Flowers won for three consecutive years the prize for the best astromelia, the best flower of the fair and the revelation flower of the year. The popularity that they obtained after receiving the awards opened opportunities for them with new clients. Now the company’s technicians are exploring the market in China.
“The alliance we made with Much Flowers improves our growth expectations. Now we get supplies at a lower cost and because our flowers complement the Much Flowers menu we hope to reach new customers at more convenient prices, “he says.
Other astromelife plantations in Ecuador are in the north of the country: Imbabura and Pichincha. Seven companies combine their rose cultivations with the astromelia plantation. Although there are no data on plantings by type of flower, it is estimated that there are 40 hectares of astromelias in the country.
One advantage of the crop, besides the lower cost of production, is that it is short cycle. The harvest is daily and the plantations are renewed every two or three years.
“The reception of Ecuadorian astromelia is due in large part to market trends. There are cycles in which roses stop being fashionable and customers look for new flowers, “explains Alejandro Martínez, president of Expoflores, which groups 150 flower growers.
https://www.elcomercio.com/actualidad/flores-astromelias-floricultura-exportacion-chimborazo.html. If you are thinking of making use of it, please quote the source and link to the original note of where you have taken this content. ElComercio.comIn five countries, national astromelia is appreciated