Chongming blossoming into floral mecca with 2021 expo
Chongming, the third-largest island in China, is preparing to blossom next year with the 10th China Flower Expo taking place from May 21 to July 2.
Through the expo, themed “Blossom with a Chinese Dream,” Chongming District is striving to build a world-class ecological system and boost its floral industry.
In preparation for the expo, three main indoor and more than 100 outdoor pavilions are expected to be completed by the end of this year, which will showcase the vision of a flower island on the sea.
Ecology and innovation are a primary focus of the preparations, according to Li Zheng, Party secretary of Chongming District.
In addition to traditional regional and institutional pavilions, exhibitions with new themes will be featured, including company, friendship city and new breed pavilions.
Companies including SAIC Group, Baosteel, Chia Tai Group and Shanghai Gardens Group will present their green concept via unique gardening, while 10 international designers from countries including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Japan will participate in exhibitions.
“With the first largest-scale flower expo to be held on an island with villages and forests, we have confidence in overcoming the challenges and seizing the opportunity to greet more visitors, boost the flower industry and benefit local residents,” Chongming’s Party chief Li said.
Thanks to supportive policies and a fertile environment, the floral industry is booming in Chongming, a district that places a premium on agriculture.
The island is ideal for floral varieties from across the country, including narcissus, saffron and boxwood, as well as foreign breeds such as tulips from the Netherlands.
Because of the flower expo, more companies have chosen to set up shops here, with automated technologies and expertise to benefit the overall supply chain.
And with forward-thinking strategies implemented by the city government, three primary floral-industry clusters have been developed in the eastern, central and western parts of Chongming.
The eastern cluster is structured around seedlings and narcissus breeding; the central on integrating floral businesses with sightseeing; and the western on nurturing small flowers such as anthurium and saffron.
To promote this industrial transformation and boost the floral economy, district officials actively explore future opportunities around the globe, with eight leading floral companies anchored here, resulting in 2.5 billion yuan (US$376 million) of investment.
Three primary parks have been constructed — the Chongming International Flower Industrial Park, Zhonghe Modern Flower Center and Oriental International Flower Park — along with Yuanyi Smart Ecological Garden valued at 220 million yuan.
In addition, a flower-border design competition, as well as traditional lotus and narcissus festivals, has taken place to promote the public’s understanding of floral culture.
The district also plans to build a modern flower-market circulation system, which will include a green channel for local flower trading and export, a floral free trade zone, a pilot free trade port for the floral industry and an international flower trading center.
The floral industry in Chongming has quickly expanded.
Narcissus is one of the most prominent flowers on the island, and has grown here for 500 years. The Baiye narcissus co-op base in Xianghua Town produces 300,000 narcissus seedlings a year on 333,000 square meters of land.
The district is the largest saffron-growing base in China, accounting for more than half of the nation’s saffron output. It has become a key economic engine and is used in foods, medicines and facial masks.
Gangyan Town’s Yuanyi Village is famous for boxwood, which is grown in most local households, bringing in nearly 40 million yuan annually.
Villagers train people to model and make bonsai trees, and have developed online platforms to increase sales.
Shanghai Yingmiao Vegetation Co-op breeds anthurium and orchids, applying advanced management and technologies to drip irrigation and heat pump systems.
The co-op uses seedlings from the Netherlands and has expanded its business across the country and to Japan.
Many local companies are combining flower production with tourism.
Leisure tours have been launched in Yingmiao, where visitors can learn about floral arrangements and attend lectures. Some 30,000 visitors flock to Yingmiao every year.
At Xisha Lotus Park, the largest lotus-breeding base with an area of more than 373,000 square meters, visitors can meander along peaceful pathways adorned with lotuses from many different countries. Plans for indoor exhibitions, homestays and water recreation are in works.