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Colombian flower growers prepare for Valentine sales against El Nino

The florists in Bogota, capital city of Colombia, are especially busy at the beginning of February, as they start to prepare for the upcoming high season of Valentine, but against the impact of abnormal climate caused by El Nino.

(Soundbite) Adriana Gonzalez, Production Head of Elite Flowers
“We have to be very careful with low temperatures between night and dawn, when we come to have it from 0 to one Celsius Degree. This may cause production to fall, but thanks to technology, we managed to cope with these conditions.”

El Nino has led to a frost phenomenon that drives temperature down below one Celsius Degrees for periods longer than one hour, making crops suffer serious damage if appropriate artificial measures are not taken to maintain it above one.

(Soundbite) Adriana Gonzalez, Production Head of Elite Flowers
“We have a system to defrost all greenhouses by water, which is used widely when the temperature inside greenhouses is down to one Celsius Degree. The antifreeze technology is going to allow the temperature inside the greenhouses to be maintained and avoid the plants to be exposed to temperatures below one Celsius Degree.”

As the most important flower planter with annual sales over 300 million U.S. dollars, Colombia has nearly 20 percent of its seasonal exports to the United States, where Valentine is celebrated on February 14 with various roses as the must-have prop to express love and affection.

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