Last update: 07:50 | 09/02/2018
Thuong and her friends vow to protect and conserve Ngoc Linh ginseng
Born in the Binh Duong sandy area, Thuong often travelled with her parents to take goods to mountainous areas for sale and eventually settled in Quang Nam.
After finishing the eighth grade, Thuong decided to leave for HCMC to work as a housemaid and factory worker. But when she turned 22, she moved to Nam Tra My to set up a business with a grocery, where she began trading Ngoc Linh ginseng.
Locals brought ginseng to Thuong and asked her to take it to the lowlands for sale.
Later, when the Ngoc Linh ginseng, considered one of the five most valuable medicinal species in the world, became more expensive, local people rushed to the forests to exploit ginseng for sale.
Worried about the extirpation of the valuable medicinal herb, Thuong decided that she needed to plant and conserve the herb.
When the Ngoc Linh ginseng, considered one of the five most valuable medicinal species in the world, became more expensive, local people rushed to the forests to exploit ginseng for sale.
In 2015, Thuong began growing the first ginseng plants. She spent all the money she had and borrowed to buy 50 saplings and plant in a garden. However, her plan failed because all the saplings were eaten by crickets overnight.
But Thuong did not give up. She again planted ginseng and covered every plant with nets to protect them, met specialists to talk about the methods to grow ginseng, and read documents from different sources.
With modest capital, Thuong decided to develop her garden step by step. Now, she owns 600 Ngoc Linh ginseng plants at different ages and cultivates seedlings.
“Everyone knows about the nutritional and economic value of Ngoc Linh ginseng. However, if we just try to exploit as much as possible, the valuable ginseng will extirpate one day,” the girl said.
She is planning on setting up a seedling farm to protect the precious genetic source. However, genetic source conservation can only be done by the community, not by one individual.
Thuong is also well known as a trader of big ginseng bulbs. In 2016, when Ho Van Hanh, a man in Tra Linh commune, came to see Thuong, saying he wanted to sell a 50 gr ginseng bulb at VND1 million.
Thuong said this was just a branch of a bigger ginseng bulb and told Hanh to return to the forest to find the bulb. The colossal ginseng bulb was found. It weighed one kilo and was sold for VND200 million.