Dutch flower expert Nicolas: Tulip bonds Jiangsu and me
2018-11-03 17:04:00

If you travel to the Dafeng Holland Flower Park, in Yancheng of Jiangsu province, during the annual tulip cultural month between April to May, you may see a tall Dutch man nicely greeting tourists. He is Nicolas Kaaijk, the flower expert in the park.

Born to a tulip expert family in 1956, Nicolas could help with tulip bulb harvest at an early age of 10 years old. After graduation from an agricultural technical school at 17, Nicolas took over the family business and his life has been ever since closely connected with tulips.

In 1998, Nicolas expanded his business in China and gradually made a fame with his tulip techniques. When the Xinfeng Town of Yancheng’s Dafeng was planning to set up a Holland-style eco village, which covers an area of 2.46 square kilometers, Nicolas was believed as the perfect flower expert for the Dafeng Holland Flower Park in the eco village. When Nicolas received the offer, he decided to take a look at the city. On the arrival at Dafeng, he immediately fell in love with the fresh air in the clean city. He became an advisor for tulip cultivation at the park in 2013. Five years have passed by, and it was still the cleanness that attracted him the most in Dafeng.

He has spent most of his time and energy on the development of the flower park, helped to set up a bulb research center there and aimed to promote domestic bulb production in China, for which he earned the name of “Tulip Nicolas”.

The first few months in Dafeng was quite hard for him, since the flower park was not fully completed and there were few visitors in the spacious but deserted park, especially in winter days. What’s worse, the local tulip market was far less prosperous than it is now. He proposed to hold an indoor flower exhibition to attract visitors, which turned out to be a big success. Nicolas believes that the flower park is more than a tourist attraction. It can also be a business platform linking buyers and growers.

He has connected some universities and flower growing associations in Holland, in order to seek more technical help for local growers. He also made great efforts in various flower forums and seminars, inviting Dutch experts, entrepreneurs and even government officials to have a deeper communication with local farmers.

With the consistent efforts of Nicolas and his team, the Dafeng Holland Flower Park has become a unique tulip brand in China, cultivating more than 300 varieties of 30 million tulips. Crowned as “China’s No. 1 Tulip Field” and “World Best Tourist Attraction for Tulips”, the flower park is becoming a competitive tourist destination in the world.

Twenty years in China and five years in Dafeng, Nicolas has witnessed many changes. “I heard the high speed train will stop here next year. Dafeng will have a very prosperous future,” Nicolas believes that with the convenient transportation, the economy of Dafeng will become more advanced and people here will have a better life.

Nicolas is an advocator of modern agriculture. After modern tractors, planters and harvesters were brought in one by one, the working efficiency has been highly improved, scores or even hundreds of times than before. More and more workers like to work with modern agricultural machinery, and the tulip business in the park is also marching into an era of large-scale, automation and industrialization. Nicolas feels that everything now in China are becoming more modern and developed.

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Source:jschina.com.cn Editor:Nicky