Kon Tum is rich in not only cultural identity but also potential medicinal plants, especially Ngoc Linh ginseng - a rare and endemic medicinal plant of Vietnam classified as one of the best ginseng species in the world. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr. Nguyen Van Hoa, Chairman of the Kon Tum Provincial People’s Committee, on the conservation, development and branding of the world's most rare and precious ginseng. Cong Luan reports.
How will Kon Tum province conserve and develop Ngoc Linh ginseng as directed by the Prime Minister? What are solutions for the province to attain at least 1,000 ha of Ngoc Linh ginseng by 2020 and 10,000 ha by 2030?
Following the conclusions of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the Ngoc Linh Ginseng and Medicinal Herb Investment and Development Conference held in Kon Tum in September 2018, implementing resolutions of the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People’s Committee on medicinal plant investment, development and processing, the Provincial People’s Committee has approved the scheme on investment, development and processing of medicinal herbs in Kon Tum province to 2020 and to 2030. Accordingly, the province will strive to have 2,000 ha of concentrated pharmaceutical material areas, including at least 1,000 ha of Ngoc Linh ginseng, by 2020, and 25,000 ha, including 10,000 ha of Ngoc Linh ginseng, by 2030, to make Kon Tum a major producer of medicinal materials in the country.
In order to implement consistent solutions on conservation and development of Ngoc Linh ginseng to meet the above objectives, the Provincial People’s Committee has requested relevant bodies to research and advise the Standing Board of the Provincial People’s Committee on the master project for management, investment and development of the national product of Ngoc Linh ginseng. Accordingly, major measures are surveying and zoning suitable areas and locations for scaling up Ngoc Linh ginseng development; promulgating regulations and conditions on Ngoc Linh ginseng investment and development projects; issuing local technical standards for Ngoc Linh ginseng; building a management system for geographical indications of Ngoc Linh ginseng and other medicinal materials; developing a Ngoc Linh ginseng branding program and management tools; composing documents on origin, history and legendary of Ngoc Linh ginseng, its economic value and outstanding medicinal value.
In addition, during the Culture and Tourism Week 2018, the Provincial People’s Committee organized and invited South Korean business partners to meet, exchange and learn about opportunities for Ngoc Linh ginseng investment and development and other medicinal plants in the province. Furthermore, the committee has issued decisions allowing organizations and companies to lease forestland for growing Ngoc Linh ginseng together with managing and protecting forests. Large corporations have also started to survey and work out Ngoc Linh ginseng and medicinal herb development investment projects in Kon Tum province.
After the time of conservation and development, Kon Tum province now has more than 600 ha of Ngoc Linh ginseng grown by Ngoc Linh Kon Tum Ginseng Joint Stock Company and Dak To Forestry Limited Company and some small areas cultivated by local people. The companies have signed contracts with local farmers to plant ginseng. On January 11, 2019, Ngoc Linh Kon Tum Ginseng Joint Stock Company also officially launched its first ginseng products like K5 ginseng extract, K5 ginseng tea, wild honey ginseng, fresh ginseng and K5 ginseng wine.
In early 2019, the Kon Tum Provincial People’s Committee in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the National Museum of History organized a thematic exhibition on “Cultural Heritage and Ngoc Linh Kon Tum Ginseng - Treasure of Mountains and Forests” in Hanoi. At the exhibition, Ngoc Linh Kon Tum Ginseng Joint Stock Company reproduced the image of Ngoc Linh ginseng development and cultivation under the forest canopy to introduce to local and international visitors. The exhibition is scheduled to continue one year till January 2020.
Kon Tum province has defined that Ngoc Linh ginseng development investment must be carried out gradually, firmly and effectively, combined with development and conservation investment. The province has paid special attention to the conservation of purebred genetic resources, ensuring that the variety is not crossbred or confused with other types of ginseng and medicinal herbs. At the same time, Kon Tum has continued to research and apply science and technology to develop seedlings to maintain saponil content of the original ginseng, the special value of Ngoc Linh Kon Tum ginseng for production expansion. It will focus on increasing the value of the ginseng in the coming time with appropriate steps and roadmaps.
What are the local socio-economic development achievements in 2018?
2018 marked outstanding achievements of Kon Tum province in implementing the Resolution of the 15th Provincial Party Congress and the 5-year socioeconomic development plan in 2016 - 2020 of the Provincial People’s Council. Under the close leadership and direction of the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People’s Council and the active participation of the entire political system and all people, Kon Tum province attained important socioeconomic development achievements. The province fulfilled and exceeded 13 out of 14 socio-economic and environmental targets, especially with the GDP expanding by 9.28% to over VND13,443 billion and the State budget revenue hitting the all-time high of VND2,782 million, 27% higher than the estimate of the Provincial People’s Council. Its export value was projected at US$170 million, fulfilling 175.26% of the yearly plan. The poverty rate was reduced to 4.08%.
Investment attraction made progress. Investors from Japan, South Korea, Australia, France and other countries and major domestic corporations have come to study and explore investment opportunities and deploy projects in the province. The start-up movement achieved many positive results. To date, 20 start-up projects have been approved and 11 projects have been financed by the Provincial Start-up Fund.
The cultural and social sectors continued to achieve important results, thus helping improve the material and spiritual life of the people. Policies and treatments for people with meritorious services, policy beneficiaries and social beneficiaries were properly cared. Vocational training and job creation were promoted. The tourism sector continued to make an important contribution to the overall development of the province. In the year, its tourist arrivals reached over 450,000, including 182,000 foreigners, and tourism revenue topped VND255 billion.
Most notably in 2018, Kon Tum successfully organized many important events that left good impressions on domestic and international friends such as the Ngoc Linh Ginseng and Medicinal Herb Investment Development Conference, the first Vietnam - Laos - Cambodia Border Friendly Exchange Program, and the fourth Kon Tum Culture and Tourism Week 2018. These important events contributed to local socio-economic development in 2018.
What are key solutions for the province to create development breakthroughs in 2019?
2019 is a very important year to successfully realize the Resolution of the 15th Provincial Party Congress and the 5-year socio-economic development plan for 2016-2020. The Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People’s Council are determined to achieve the economic growth of 9.3% in 2019 and have defined three groundbreaking stages to generate new momentum for the successful achievement of key objectives and tasks in 2019.
First, the province focuses investment on urban infrastructure and new urban areas combined with services, especially in Kon Tum City; promotes investment in industrial, urban and service development. Priority will be given to compensating land, clearing the ground and building essential infrastructure and wastewater treatment system in industrial areas.
Second, the province develops high-tech commercial agriculture coupled with processing and marketing; invests to effectively conserve and develop medicinal plants, especially those grown under the forest canopy; and has product development and branding strategies for ginseng and other locally typical products.
Third, Kon Tum accelerates administrative procedure reform, establishes the Kon Tum Provincial Public Administration Center, and strengthens investment promotion and start-up support.
In order to effectively implement these three groundbreaking stages, the Kon Tum Provincial People’s Committee has issued action plans and proposed some solutions for implementation. With resolve, solidarity and unity throughout the political system; the support and consensus of people and enterprises; and the support of the Government of Vietnam, I believe that Kon Tum province will successfully implement the socio-economic development plan in 2019 as a premise for successfully carrying out its objectives and tasks set by the 15th Provincial Party Congress.
Thank you very much!