Saturday, August 04, 2007

Liu Huong Tzong - Taiwan Orchids Pioneer

Liu Huang Tzong-te, 74, is a pioneer in the export of Taiwan's...butterfly 22, ... in Chiayi County... began helping his father with his orchidplants...
In those days, Japan was the most advanced nation in orchid culture, andLiu purchased many Japanese books and magazines on orchids. He took what helearned and often spread the information around in the most importantdomestic orchid publication of the day, "Taiwan Orchids". In those earlydays, very few people contributed to the magazine in Chinese, and most ofthe content was translated from the Japanese. Liu's insightful analysis ofissues related to orchid growing immediately attracted the attention ofthose in the industry in Taiwan.
... At 35, he was invited to serve as the chief judge for the OrchidProducer and Sellers Association, a post which he held for seven years.When he gave it up at age 42, he devoted himself to traveling the world tolearn about orchids, and to promoting orchid exports in Taiwan.
For over 20 years, the domestic market for butterfly orchids had beenoversaturated, and the development of exports had reached a bottleneck...butterfly orchids were selling at 3 for NT$100 ? little more than US$1 apiece. Farmers were simply getting no return for their labor. At that time,there was a huge demand in Japan for young plants... Liu developed areputation as a supplier, convincing the Japanese to purchase plants fromTaiwan. Exports topped 200,000 plants and many farmers were saved frombankruptcy, divorce or the loss of their livelihood.

Steve Peralta


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