China has become the world's largest producer of cut flowers, according to Zhu Lieke, vice head of the State Forestry Administration (SFA).
Speaking at the third China flower industry summit here Thursday, Zhu said statistics show that by the end of 2004, 636,000 hectares were planted the flowers with an output value of 43.1 billion yuan (US$5.4 billion) while exports of cut flowers reached US$140 million.
Currently there are some 53,000 companies in the flower business, 6,700 of which earn more than five million yuan (US$625,000) a year.
The official said despite the industry's expansion over the last five years growers still face relatively low productivity and nonstandard market competition.
(Xinhua News Agency March 3, 2006)