Vietnam’s Medicinal Plant Farming Helps Farmers Escape Poverty
Thao A Cang’s 2 hectare garden full of artichokes is located at Ta Phin Commune in Sapa district of the Lao Cai Province. After the artichoke harvest, any poor farmer will be able to purchase a motorcycle.
Cang is a member of the ethnic group, Dao. Not only is he happy with his life improving significantly, he is also able to help others.
Many locals in Sapa have seen an improvement in their lives after returning to medical plant growing.
A once-successful livelihood
For any old local traveling from Hanoi to sapa, the district of Sapa has been famous for it’s medicinal plants decades back. This is also what Le Tan Phong, People’s Committee deputy chairman in Sapa district, agrees on.
He said that during the 1980s, seeds were provided in order to grow these medicinal plants and eventually sell the plants in East Europe. He added further that the exports for these medicinal plants declined in the 1990s after the changes in their political system took place.
The cultivation of medicinal plants today
With the plants restored, the local farmers are earning VND 5 to 7 million ($224 to $313) monthly.
In Quang Nam, farmers are also able to escape poverty with cultivating medicinal herbs.
Since the start of the year, local farmers received 200,000 seeds to plant in a six hectare area.
Arat Blui, People’s Committee deputy chairman in Tay Giang district said that the cultivation of these plants ensure stable livelihoods for locals.
The common medicinal plants cultivated
The province has 700,000 hectares of forest lands suitable for cultivating medicinal herbs like ginseng, cinnamon, and many more. These are believed to help in various ailments and have substances that are extracted to make alternative medicines and dietary supplements.
Vietnam also has a great potential to start developing medicinal substances like star anise and cinnamon.
The medicinal plants have flourished in the country especially in the northern regions, in the provinces of Thanh Hoa and Nghe An’s western parts and in the provinces of Lam Dong and Kon Tum. Star anise which is grown in some northern provinces has made profits for locals.