Quang Nam: Dream of a medicinal plants capital

By HOANG LIEN |

(QNO) - The dream of a medicinal plants capital gradually becomes real in Quang Nam as the project of large-scale ginseng development has been done and got some initial achievements.

Ngoc Linh ginseng seeds area
Ngoc Linh ginseng seeds area

A big investment

In 2015 when the long-term governmental project of Vietnamese Ginseng (2016-2030) was approved with over VND 9,000 billion, Quang Nam dreamt of a capital of Vietnamese ginseng. Since then, dozens of delegations of foreign and domestic scientists and investors have visited the area of ginseng to make researches and look for investment opportunities. It is estimated that the profit of Ngoc Linh ginseng will be 10 times as high as its invested capital just after 5 years; and Quang Nam province hopes to harvest about 1000 tons of ginseng by 2030.

Reportedly, the geographical indication of "Ngọc Linh" for ginseng root products has officially been given to Quang Nam and Kon Tum provinces. A stamp set of Ngoc Linh ginseng is also expectedly introduced at Ginseng Festival 2017 in Tra My mountainous district (Quang Nam province).

Besides Ngoc Linh ginseng, there are 832 species, 593 genera and 190 medicinal plant families in Quang Nam forests and mountains. They include cardamom, jiaogulan, morinda, five-flavour berry (Schisandra), dang seng (Codonopsis pilosula), female ginseng (Angelica sinensis)... distributed in an area of about 500 ha. However, these plants are at risk due to uncontrolled exploitation. Therefore, three major species (cardamom, morinda and dang seng) are advocated to grow in Quang Nam forests in the period of 2016 - 2020.

Sources of seeds

Ngoc Linh ginseng tissue culture has been successful just in laboratory; so the seed sources of this species are rather scarce.  A 1-month ginseng sapling costs VND 40 thousand; but their number is very limited. It is consequently necessary to find out effective ways of ginseng multiplication.

According to Deputy Director of Quang Nam department of Science and Technology Le Thuy Trinh, the traditional multiplication method needs to be kept on in combination with tissue culture techniques so that we can both protect native endemic ginseng genetic resources and use remarkable seeds. Vice Chairman of Quang Nam People’s Committee Le Tri Thanh suggested being very cautious of medicinal plant tissue culture.  For Ngoc Linh ginseng multiplication, sexual reproduction should be focused on in order to improve the productivity and quality of its grain.

Quang Nam has favorable conditions for medicinal plants development thanks to the diversity and richness of these species, as said by Prof. Dr. Tran Thi Ha, Director of Forest Products Research and Development Institute. Moreover, the forest land accounts for nearly 69% of the total provincial area. All of them makes Quang Nam one of the largest medicinal plant centre of the country, which helps better inhabitants’ lives and contribute to poverty alleviation in the province.

By HOANG LIEN