Ba kich medicinal herb helps Co Tu ethnic people escape poverty

(VOVWORLD) - Lang is one of three communes to pilot the growing of ba kich (morinda officinalis) in Tay Giang district, Quang Nam province. Thanks to this plant, many locals have escaped poverty and their lives are improving day by day.
Ba kich medicinal herb helps Co Tu ethnic people escape poverty - ảnh 1Morinda officinalis growing in the forest (Photo: Ngoc Anh)

Lang commune has 650 households, with 2,500 people, most of whom are from the Co Tu ethnic minority. They grow purple ba kich as their main crop.

Briu Po, the commune’s patriarch, said that as ba kich is a vine with each segment like a sweet potato, it is easy to plant and grows quickly.

“I call it the lazy plant. Five clusters of the plant can produce 1 kg of tubers worth 21 USD a kilo. We can earn 4,100 USD a year. 65-70% of local families have escaped poverty thanks to this plant,” said Briu Po.

Lang commune has established a 6-hectare conservation area for purple ba kich under the forest canopy. Villagers are taught techniques for planting, care, and preliminary processing to develop the ba kich growing model.

Bhling Phat, head of Por’ning hamlet in Lang commune, said that planting native purple ba kich is part of the plan to develop medicinal herbs in Lang commune. Por'ning hamlet has a 10-hectare garden for ba kich.

“Co Lau Thai Ngoc, with 5 hectares, is a role model. He grows and propagates seedlings for other villagers. The herb has many medicinal uses. Its tubers, soaked in liquor, are a treatment for bone atrophy and general health,” said Bhling Phat.

In addition to its substantial growing area, Tay Giang district has businesses which trade in ba kich plants and a variety of related products. Many of these products have been recognized as OCOP items, including herbal tea, liquor, and ointment.

Ba kich medicinal herb helps Co Tu ethnic people escape poverty - ảnh 2Morinda officinalis tubers (Photo: Ngoc Anh)

By 2025, Quang Nam province hopes to have 40,000 hectares of raw material areas producing 9 types of medicinal herbs.

Ho Quang Buu, Deputy Chairman of  the provincial People's Committee, said, Quang Nam has many medicinal plants and plans to become a medicinal center of the Central and Central Highlands region. This policy has been approved by the Prime Minister.”

Lang commune is considered one of the centers of ba kich in Quang Nam. Some households have thousands of the plants, which is already making them financially comfortable.