Indigenous Ngoc Linh ginseng becoming scarce
VietNamNet Bridge - Native Panax vietnamensis, also known as Vietnamese Ngoc Linh ginseng, is becoming  scarce amid a hunt for the herb, which is seen as a panacea to treat a number of illnesses.


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With high economic value, Ngoc Linh ginseng in Kon Tum province has been popular for many years. 

However, scientists say that native Ngoc Linh ginseng is getting scarce, warning that it will be a big challenge for Kon Tum to conserve and grow the precious ginseng.

The development of ginseng in the locality now depends on propagation by local companies and individuals. Not only big businesses and organizations, but people living at the foot of the mountain also grow ginseng.

In the past, one could easily find seeds in the old forests of Ngoc Linh Mountain and bring them home to cultivate ginseng. However, it is no longer easy to grow the ginseng. Meanwhile, cultivation is faced with technical and climate problems.

A Hinh, a man from Te Xang Commune in Tu Mo Rong District, said previously he sought ginseng seeds in the wild or bought seeds from local households. It was easy to buy ginseng seeds, about VND10-15 million for a can of seeds. However, things are different now. 

In order to maintain the development and propagation of Ngoc Linh ginseng, some households use traditional methods, including storing seeds and propagating with stems. However, the results have not been satisfactory.

Native Panax vietnamensis, also known as Vietnamese Ngoc Linh ginseng, is becoming  scarce amid a hunt for the herb, which is seen as a panacea to treat a number of illnesses.
“One seed of Ngoc Linh ginseng sells for VND120,000, but it is very difficult to buy seeds even if you pay such a high price,” A Hinh said.

“It is difficult to find seeds in the wild, while propagation by companies and individuals only serves their cultivation, and they don’t intend to sell seeds to others,” he explained.

Dak To Forestry Company has been growing Ngoc Linh ginseng for many years. However, the seed output is just enough to satisfy the company’s demand.

According to Hoang Van Chat, deputy director of Dak To, the biggest problem in the cultivation and conservation of Ngoc Linh ginseng is that the natural gene source is getting exhausted because of the consumers’ hunt for the herb. 

Meanwhile, bad weather conditions in the last few years have also adversely affected cultivation.

The propagation process will fail if there is a frost or hail. Plants only give seeds after five years or more. 

Dak To is one of the two companies in Kon Tum province which are conducting research and implementing the project to propagate the ginseng. The other is Duy Tan Investment & Development JSC. Ginseng seeds would be available in the market no sooner than 2020.

The Ministry of Science & Technology granted special geographical indication to Ngoc Linh ginseng in August 2016.
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Thanh Lich

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