Despite challenges, Ecuador’s flower industry keeps blooming

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the west, Ecuador is bordered in the north by Colombia and in the south by east Peru. The country also shares a maritime border with Costa Rica. One of South America’s smaller countries, Ecuador, which intersects part of the Andes mountains, also occupies a portion of the Amazon River basin.

In recent years, Ecuador has drawn retirees, especially from North America, owing to its relatively low cost of living and its temperate climate. Many retirees like the Andean city of Cuenca, which lives up to International Living’s designation as one of the best retirement spots in the world. Apart from excellent weather, Cuenca boasts local fresh fruits and vegetables all year through.

Its conducive climate and fertile soil allow a variety of flowers to thrive. The success of Ecuador’s flower industry enables the country to earn over $400m (RM1.7bn) a year in foreign exchange.

Cut flowers now rank fourth among the country’s non-petroleum exports, and the nation is now the world’s third-largest exporter of cut flowers, of which 73% are roses.

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