Authorities in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum have announced plans to further promote the cultivation of Ngoc Linh ginseng (Panax vietnamesis) in the hopes of attracting private investment.
The provincial People's Committee will cooperate with the Ministry of Science and Technology to research, grow and advertise Vietnamese ginseng worldwide.
Ngoc Linh, a plant native to the Central Highlands, has only been found in Kon Tum's Dak Glei and Tu Mo Rong districts and in nine communes of Quang Nam Province's Tra My District. Quang Nam is located in central Vietnam.
A kilogram of fresh Ngoc Linh ginseng can sell for up to VND50 million (US$2,480).
Last month, local authorities in Quang Nam's Tay Giang District announced they have successfully grown the plant after three years of trials that tested the plants adaptability.
In June, the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) Biology Institute said they have successfully used in-vitro farming techniques to grow the plant.
In May, the Kon Tum Ngoc Linh Ginseng Joint Stock Company also said its scientists have grown the medicinal root on a 140 hectare (346 acres) farm on Ngoc Linh Mountain in Tu Mo Rong District.
The plants, which are between one and ten years old, were grown in natural conditions in the forest, at a height of more than 2,000 meters above sea level.
The company said that each hectare could produce at least one ton of ginseng valued at around VND50 billion (US$2.4 million).
Ngoc Linh ginseng has traditionally been used by ethnic minorities in Vietnam's mountainous regions, who regard the plant as having life-saving properties.
It was officially researched and recognized by the government in 1973. Scientist said it enhances strength and relieves stress. Tests have shown that it contains more saponin, the chemical compound which gives ginseng its healing properties, than most other species of ginseng.
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