A 2.5ha valley reserved for development of the first Ngoc Linh ginseng (Panax vietnamensis or Vietnamese ginseng) and medical herbs Centre in Nam Tra My district (Photo: VNA)

Quang Nam (VNS/VNA) - Tra My district in Quang Nam province has introduced the first ever Ngoc Linh ginseng (Panax vietnamensis or Vietnamese ginseng) and medical herbs centre in Tra Mai commune as a major source of seed and sapling in Vietnam.

Ho Quang Buu, chairman of the district’s People’s Committee, told Vietnam News that the centre, which was built in a 2.5ha valley with a total investment of 6.5 billion VND (287,000 USD), plans to supply 50,000 saplings and seeds of Ngoc Linh ginseng and herbs for local farmers in seven villages in the district this year.

Buu said the introduction of the centre is an initial step toward the district’s ginseng development project on 15,000ha in seven mountainous communes.

“We set up the centre to conserve the best seeds of Ngoc Linh ginseng and dozens of precious medicine herbs for a mass development of the national ginseng brand and an eco-tourism site, which he hope to have completed in the 2016-25 period,” Buu said.

“We also plan to afforest the district with ginseng, herbs and cinnamon as part of developing the district as a major gene conservation and seedling centre of endangered seeds and herbs in Vietnam,” he said.

Buu added that seven businesses had started their feasibility studies on growing 1,000ha of Ngoc Linh Ginseng and processing plants in the district.

So far, there are 70ha of major ginseng farms in villages of Tra Nam and Tra Cang communes in the district.

According to the district, more than 42,000ha of primary forests have been well preserved in development of the ginseng and native herbs.

Quang Nam province also plans to invest in infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, essential oils and cosmetics, as well as tonic drinks and capsules from ginseng in the district.

Vietnamese ginseng was one of eight precious and endangered flora genes including Ba Kich (poor man’s ginseng or codonopsis), pepper, cinnamon, large-size rattan and white corn in the province’s conservation programme in 2014-20.

In 2015, Nam Tra My district and Hamyang county of the Republic of Korea signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on tourism, agriculture, conservation and the development of Ngoc Linh ginseng.

In 2016, the ministry of science and technology and the Intellectual Property Agency of Vietnam recognised the Geographical Indication (GI) of "Ngoc Linh" (Panax vietnamensis, or Vietnamese ginseng) for ginseng root products in Quang Nam and Kon Tum provinces.

Ginseng was first found on Ngoc Linh Mountain on the border between the Central Highlands Kon Tum province and Quang Nam in the late 1960s.-VNA