Kon Tum farmers begin medicinal plant crop

(VOVWORLD) - At 1,000 meters above sea level, Kon Plong district is so suited to growing highly profitable medicinal plants like ginseng, lanthanum, and blackcurrant that it has become identified as one of the key areas in Kon Tum province for medicinal plants. At the beginning of the Lunar New Year, local farmers went to the fields to kick off their 2018 production plan.
Kon Tum farmers begin medicinal plant crop   - ảnh 1 : Mang Canh commune in Kon Plong district is so suited to growing Angelica sinensis. (baokontum.com.vn)

A branch of the Saigon Institute for Medicinal Plant Conservation and Development was opened in Kon Plong district early this year.

On the first days of the Lunar New Year, a breeding center was set up to select the most valuable medicinal herbs for the Central Highlands.

Do Hoang Hai, Chairman of the Institute’s founders’ council, said one of their goals is to build a tissue bank and seed bank to preserve genetic resources and support material growing zones.

Hai said: “We want a strong connection to the Central Highlands and have chosen Kon Plong district for a new medicinal plant conservation and development garden where we’ll bring selected rare genes from national parks to be conserved and then provide cuttings to farmers. We’ll buy all the produce of farmers we have signed contracts with.”

Kon Plong authorities will dedicate 600 hectares of forest to conserve and exploit sustainably medicinal herbs and have drafted policies to support local farmers.

The district’s station for agricultural extension and agro-forestry services has delivered to Dak Long, Mang Canh, Po E, Hieu, and Mang But commune tens of thousands of ginseng, lanthanum, and blackcurrant cuttings so that Se dang, and H're ethnic minority people can profit from growing medicinal plants. The station has also provided training.

Ms. Tran Thi Kieu Trinh, the station’s technical officer, said: “Farmers understand new farming techniques faster if they are instructed in a hands-on way. For example, how should ginseng be planted and at what altitude? It is much better if we demonstrate with actual plants. To express a spacing between plants of 20 cm, we should say “plant them about 2 hand spans apart”. That's the way we teach the local farmers new farming techniques.”

Thanks to specific incentives and support policies, farmers in Kon Plong have planted dozens of hectares of medicinal plants.

Nguyen Van Lan, Chairman of the district’s People's Committee, said this year the local administration will continue to help businesses and locals develop medicinal herbs.

Lan said: “We have worked closely with enterprises and created mechanisms, policies, investment procedures, and tax exemption incentives in line with current law. Investment in infrastructure has encouraged enterprises to invest in Kon Plong. We plan land funds for the people and for conserving medicinal plants. The key is to get more involvement of local farmers.”

To achieve the goal of becoming a key medicinal plant growing area in Kon Tum province, the Kon Plong authorities are boosting brand building, processing, distribution of products by value chains, and creating large-scale medicinal plant fields. In addition, a number of production organization, training, trading, and processing solutions have been implemented.