Precious ginseng farm burgled

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Nearly 1,300 five-year-old ginseng plants were stolen from a major ginseng farm in the Central Highlands' Kon Tum Province Monday night, local news website VnExpress reported.


The thieves left behind some sickles and water bottles, according to guards at Dak To Forestation, Ltd. which manages Ngoc Linh ginseng farm. The plantation is named after a local mountain where the particular strain of ginseng first originated.


On Tuesday, Nguyen Van Chung, the company's director, said the company has not yet identified the thieves or recovered the plants.


On the night of August 31, the garden also lost 300 four-year old ginseng plants.


Ngoc Linh ginseng (Panax vietnamensis) was the 20th variety of ginseng to be classified in the world. The valuable root, which is also sometimes found in Quang Nam Province, contains the highest levels of saponin, a class of secondary metabolites.


Ngoc Linh ginseng sells for more than the famous North Korean ginseng. A fresh kilo can fetch VND40-50 million (US$2,500-2,560) and a dry one VND60-80 million ($3,070-4,100).

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