BOGOTÁ._ Agricultural experts agree that this might not be the best year for Colombian flower exports, due to the effects of El Niño climate phenomenon and the negative impact of the global economic crisis, which is still felt today.

However, some hope blossomed during the month of February for Colombian flower growers as the regular number of monthly flights to the United States grew by 30, carrying 500 million flowers. This rise in sales always coincides with Saint Valentine’s Day. The United States is the major market for Colombian cut flowers, accounting for 76 percent of total of exports, which reach another 88 countries.

 Agricultural experts agree that this might not be the best year for Colombian flower exports, due to the effects of El Niño climate phenomenon and the negative impact of the global economic crisis, which is still felt today.Colombia is the world’s second largest flower producer and exporter after the Netherlands. It is also the leading exporter of standard and miniature carnations, which are largely grown in the department of Cundinamarca, where the capital is located.

With a long presence in the international market, Colombian flowers are in great demand due to their high quality, color, beauty, size and variety.

They currently account for 14 percent of global flower exports, second only to the Netherlands.

The other major markets for Colombia’s cut flowers are Japan, which maintains a very strict phytosanitary control, and Canada, a market worth over $16 million per year. The recent signing of an agreement with a Canadian supermarket chain will increase Colombian flower exports to the country as those flowers will be sold at 40 of the chain’s retail stores.

 Agricultural experts agree that this might not be the best year for Colombian flower exports, due to the effects of El Niño climate phenomenon and the negative impact of the global economic crisis, which is still felt today.The rise in Colombian cut flower exports is significant, both in volume and variety, with more than 50 flower species available on the international market.

Colombian horticulture industry entered the international market in 1965, yielding only $20,000, but by the year 2004 that figure had amounted to $580 million. It represents a major export sector for Colombia, employing 120,000 people –25 percent of them are rural women.

The country is gradually introducing environmental sustainability programs in the countryside.

In keeping with its growing rate, Colombian flower exports have been surpassing traditional banana exports over the past few years. According to the Colombian Horticulture Association, the sector is likely to continue growing in different parts of the country as long as international demand keeps rising.

Colombia currently exports 95 percent of its flower production.

Hence, romanticism goes hand in hand with blooming income rates of flower growers.

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