The regional director of the Agricultural and Livestock Service of Chile (SAG), Andrés Duval, visited a lilium nursery owned by Southern Bulbs S.A., in Purranque, to make a field verification of the health conditions of flower bulbs that were planted the last quarter of 2014, which are being prepared for harvest starting from June this year and then they will be exported to different countries.
“Chile has developed a growing industry of flower bulb production and export, taking advantage of its off-seasonality (southern hemisphere), the absence of important plant diseases, the availability of land for cultivation and the favorable weather conditions”, explained Duval.
Los Lagos Region and Los Ríos Region, located to the south of Chile, are the main areas of production and export of lilium and tulip flower bulbs. The total area of lilium crops in the region is close to 170 hectares, followed by tulip crops with 78 hectares.
“The SAG supervises all the processes, from sowing to sending the product to the port. Soil samples are obtained before planting to dismiss the presence of mites and nematodes. Parent bulbs are also collected to detect virus diseases on them”, said Duval.
When the plant comes out, the SAG focuses its inspection on the foliage to dismiss the presence of virus disease or other diseases that may hinder the export, “according to the health requirements established by each country of destination”, emphasized Duval.
In 2014, the SAG inspected more than 68 thousand boxes of lilium and tulip bulbs, which are mostly exported for the production of cut flowers at the destination markets.
The three companies engaged in this activity are located in the province of Osorno: Southern Bulbs S.A., which has nurseries in Puyehue and Purranque, Sun & Breeze Gardens Ltda., in Purranque, and Agrícola Mantos Verdes Ltda., in Puerto Octay.
The main destination markets for Chilean flower bulbs are Europe, Australia, China and Japan.
“The flower growing industry started to rise in the last 15 years, particularly in the southern region of the country, and it has been consolidating in terms of production volumes, health conditions and variety of destination markets”, ended Duval.
Author: Translated by Daltry Gárate for Hortibiz