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Flower grower sees business blossom

By MA ZHENHUAN and LI XUEQING in Jiaxing, Zhejiang| China Daily Global| Updated : May 18, 2021

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Chai Jinfu has helped more than 100 farmers in Dayun town to plant flowers in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province. CHINA DAILY

There is no doubt in the mind of Chai Jinfu, 56. The farmer and flower grower in Miaojia village in Jiaxing of East China's Zhejiang province, knows that it was the encouragement and reassurance from the top leader that made him achieve today's success.

Chai, general manager of Jiade Gardening, was the first in Dayun town to start growing fresh flowers as early as 1998.

Although his business expanded rapidly, he found himself having to deal with "growing pains" in 2008 when seeking the upgrading of the initial facilities and flower varieties. He was uncertain about the sustainability and continuity of the land-transferring policy back then.

The policy enables farmers to rent their farmland to a company which will be in charge of planting. And farmers can get income from land rental, dividends and product sales.

On Oct 29, 2008, Xi Jinping, then vice-president of China, visited Miaojia village and encouraged Chai to fully develop his flower-growing business, assuring him that the rural farm land transfer and circulation policy will get full government support.

"It is after the conversation with Xi in 2008 that I decided to stay with the flower business, enhancing my initial investment and witnessing economic benefits from the company growing year-on-year," recalls Chai.

So far, his company has doubled its income of 2008, and has opened sales outlets in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang, forming a complete industrial chain which links flower-seed cultivation, growing, sales and marketing. Chai has also helped over 100 fellow farmers in the town to grow flowers since 2008, making Dayun town the largest fresh flower production base in Zhejiang with a total plantation area of over 367 hectares.

With the province's call to make rural Zhejiang a picturesque "big garden" in the thriving rural tourism era, Chai says he is now considering developing new products such as cut flower bunches and potted plants to enable tourists to bring them back to their hometowns.

So far, more than 98 percent of the rural farm lands in Miaojia are transferable, offering great potential to the rising rural income for the local farmers. The village registered a collective income of 13.8 million yuan ($2.14 million) last year, with per capita rural income surpassing 50,000 yuan, six times and five times of those in 2008 respectively.

Contact the writers at mazhenhuan@chinadaily.com.cn