Orchids boosted by steady power supply in Jiangsu
China Daily2024-02-07 13:04
A cultivator of butterfly orchids (center) addresses queries from local State Grid employees in Suqian, Jiangsu province, on Jan 18.GUO PANPAN/FOR CHINA DAILY
In the town of Wangguan, under the prefecture-level city of Suqian in Jiangsu province, Wang Li, a cultivator of butterfly orchids, is jubilant over her blooming business prospects, as she can easily net 50,000 yuan ($6,944) each year on a parcel of land as small as 0.067 hectare.
The sought-after plants, native to subtropical rainforest regions and well received by flower enthusiasts in recent years, are dubbed the "Queen of Orchids".
Wang said her business is helped by Butterfly Orchid World, located in nearby Caiji town, which boasts some 120 species of butterfly orchids to produce over 16 million such plants annually.
Shi Ruhao, production manager of Butterfly Orchid World — a unit of Jiangsu Guofeng Agricultural Technology Co Ltd — said the cultivation base in Sucheng district is a beautiful site to behold, with colorful butterfly orchids entering a proverbial daily beauty contest.
Shi said the booming business of the 63.3-hectare plantation base, composed of flowering areas, planting and maintenance sections and a tissue specimen zone, needs partners to thrive.
One such partnership involves nearby growers, who can allow his company to grow sales, while another is the local electric power supplier which helps ensure safe operation of the constant temperature greenhouses surrounding the plants.
Shi said his company lands over 40 million yuan in sales each year, and has nearly 100 growers as work partners.
Noting that the butterfly orchids are delicate and need tender care, he added that since May 2022 when they first set up the base, one of his work priorities has been to coordinate with Caiji Power Supply Subbranch of Suqian Power Supply Co under State Grid Corp.
"Our growing business is supported by stable power supplies, as in our base, a water-source heat pump system uses electricity to propel the water as a heat source in winter and a cold source for summer air conditioning," he said.
Each winter, the pump extracts heat from the water source and sends it to greenhouses at the base, which now host a large number of butterfly orchids in its flower-inducing areas for catalytic cultivation and fast blooming through temperature and humidity regulation, in order to win more sales prior to the coming Spring Festival, he said.
To support safe operations, Caiji subbranch has added two shared power transformers totaling 1,030 kilovolt-amperes and one 400-kVA dedicated transformer to the base since its establishment, said Wang Lihui from the subbranch.
State Grid shoulders a dual task of safeguarding the country's energy security as well as its economic lifeline as a mighty power supplier.
"Currently, it is peak season for butterfly orchid sales. All our 44 water-source heat pump air openings in our catalytic zone are working, rendering the power supply extremely important," Shi said.
With the support of intelligent equipment and sufficient electric power, Butterfly Orchid World produces a sufficient number of plants, and sells them to customers nationwide as well as to some other countries such as Vietnam, he said.
Shi noted that his company is helping local growers through a mode of "leading enterprise + base + farmers". This strategy provides partner growers with greenhouses, seedlings, growing technology, management and sales, and then shares profits with them.
Grower Wang Li said: "With improving livelihoods, people are willing to buy some flowers for Lunar New Year over the years, intending to seek more happiness. From Spring Festival to Lantern Festival, it is a sales peak for me."
Seeing the flowers turn into "money trees" and the flower fields become "treasure pots", Wang is fully confident regarding her future prospects.
In Sucheng, the cultivation of butterfly orchids has also led to booming sales of plant seedlings, cultural and creative products, exceeding 300,000 yuan daily, and providing nearly 400 jobs for the surrounding areas, said Guo Panpan from Suqian Power Supply Co of State Grid.
With rapid development of smart agriculture in recent years in Caiji, Tianwa Village Smart Agriculture Industrial Park and Niujiao Village Happy Countryside Resort have also sprung up, helping nearby farmers become more prosperous.
Guo said that to help bolster rural vitalization, her unit has invested 12.41 million yuan to build 42 new public transformers, 23 pole-mounted switches and lay power cables extending for 1.8 kilometers in the region.
They also paid over 150 visits to production sites, and distributed 230 safe-electricity brochures to local farmers, she added.