Special flight to carry chrysanthemums for Higan

Special flight to carry chrysanthemums for <em>Higan</em>

On March 8 at Naha Airport, shipping of chrysanthemums from Okinawa began for the Higan equinoctial week.

March 9, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

Shipments of chrysanthemums went from Okinawa for Higan, the Buddhist equinoctial week. On March 8, on a special All Nippon Airways flight to Haneda Airport, the Okinawa Flower Agricultural Cooperative shipped chrysanthemums for use all over Japan.

Last year, the level of demand was down because of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and growers had to dispose of around one-tenth of the chrysanthemums grown, so shipments for this period exceed those of the previous year. However, compared to the same period in 2010, they are down 1.4%, but are around the same as in usual years. This present period marks the one-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and the number of advance orders is increasing.

On March 8, at the cargo terminal in Naha Airport, a departure ceremony of the first shipment was held. Manabu Kaneshima, a representative of the cooperatives, said, “Last year was a very difficult year, but this year we have been able to ship the same quantity of flowers as a normal year.” He praised the farmer’s hard work, and went on to say, “Prices are firm. Also, March 17, the day that the Higan equinoctial week starts, coincides with a long weekend. High prices are likely, so I hope that we can make up for the losses of the previous year.”

By March 15, the cooperatives plans to make more three shipments and expect to ship over 248000 boxes, with 200 chrysanthemums in each box, which is a 10% increase over the previous year. There was less sunlight than usual this January, but the weather improved from February, so the quality of the chrysanthemums also improved. The items shipped include large and small chrysanthemums, spray mums and dracaena.

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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