Many businesses associating with each other in the cultivation, processing and extraction of medicinal herbs to serve the market
Promoting the potential of science and resources
Thua Thien Hue is home to species of medicinal plants, many of which have high medical and economic value. According to statistics from scientific research publications on medicinal plant species, Thua Thien Hue has more than 1,126 species, accounting for more than 30% of the total number of medicinal plant species in the country.
Many precious species of medicinal plants are mentioned such as Melaleuca, Patchouli, White basil, Purple basil, Norfolk island pine, Ardisia silvestris, etc. In addition, there are many species of animals, minerals, and forest, marine, lagoon products in the area that can be used as medicine.
Although medicinal plants are very rich and diverse in forest areas, for a long time, most people have had the habit of exploiting sources of medicinal plants for use without any proper mechanisms and policies to plant and restore useful plants for human health and life.
Moreover, the value of medicinal resources has not been properly recognized. This is because only medical significance of such resources has been identified, but not much attention has been paid to their economic and environmental benefits. Therefore, they have not been preserved and rationally exploited in order to create valuable medicinal products.
Bo Chinh Ginseng grown by people in A Luoi being associated with businesses to consume products
In fact, there are hundreds of medicinal plants according to indigenous knowledge and also many lessons and studies on the development of medicinal plants. However, as there is no synchronous connection between people, scientists, the State and enterprises, many scientific research topics are still in the “cabinet” or “abandoned” when applied in practice.
In order to grow medicinal plants, pharmaceutical products as well as consumer markets, the science and technology industry has realized that the core issue is the need to have a “handshake” of research, transfer and application between professional disciplines, localities and enterprises.
In particular, enterprises play the role of an extended arm in inheriting the results of scientific research to build advanced production models and form a stable and sustainable growing area of medicinal plants, in order to preserve their medicinal value, improve their economic value, and contribute to increasing people's income, etc.
Since previous years, there have been a number of enterprises specializing in processing cajeput oils and essential oils that have cooperated with many households and local authorities such as those in Phong Dien, Phu Loc, Huong Tra, etc., to develop areas for growing medicinal plants suitable to local climatic and soil conditions.
Since 2021, Hoang Gia Bo Chinh Ginseng Co., Ltd. has cooperated with A Luoi Agricultural Service Center and a number of local households to grow Bo Chinh ginseng to supply to enterprises processing pharmaceutical products.
Also last year, Huong Cat Agro-Forestry One Member Limited Liability Company received support and investment in planting medicinal areca ginseng in the sandy area of Quang Dien district to diversify pharmaceutical products associated with the OCOP program to bring pharmaceutical products to the market to meet the health needs of the people.
Becoming the Pharmaceutical Center of the Central region
Mr. Ho Thang, Director of the Department of Science and Technology, said that the viewpoint of the science and technology industry on the development of medicinal plants must be associated with promoting indigenous resources and indigenous knowledge, especially precious pharmaceutical products in the area. Based on the results of scientific research, the Department has built a project to develop the medicinal material area associated with the province's OCOP product program.
Thereby, nearly 20 precious species of medicinal plants have been selected, including about 12 potential medicinal species for the development of key products of the province, such as cajeput oil, essential oils, areca ginseng, millet under the forest canopy, etc.
Tissue culture of some species of medicinal plant to supply to the market
In the implementation plan of the project “Development of raw material areas and pharmaceutical products associated with the province's one-commune-one product (OCOP) program by 2030” in 2022, Thua Thien Hue will provide financial support 1 to 2 projects involved in the development of medicinal plants, facilitate 2 to 3 enterprises in technology innovation, technology transfer, develop intellectual property and support trademark registration, develop value chains for 2 or 3 pharmaceutical products with commercial potential.
In order to successfully implement the objectives of the project as well as the plan of the Provincial People's Committee, the Department of Science and Technology conducts planning on suitable soil areas that can grow precious medicinal species, and at the same time implements a number of projects on medicinal herbs development, on varieties research processing, production and manufacturing process and branding of some pharmaceutical products.
Among which, the industry has built a project to develop precious medicinal herbs in A Luoi district, contributing to the implementation of the National Target Program on socio-economic development in ethnic minority areas, while at the same time implementing the projects to grow Hue ginger, areca ginseng in Quang Dien, Solanum procumbens and Amomum longiligulare in Phong Dien, etc., to serve the projects at a number of enterprises.
In some areas where there are land funds for the specialized cultivation of medicinal plants such as Gymnema sylvestre, Ampelopsis cantoniensis, Solanum procumbens, Melaleuca cajuputi, Melaleuca quinquenervia, etc., the science and technology industry is particularly interested in supporting research projects focusing on researching varieties as well as the process of growing and taking care of medicinal herbs.
In addition, a number of projects on environment and forestry have supported localities to create conditions for people living near forests, buffer zones of protected areas to participate in planting medicinal plants under the forest canopy with different indigenous varieties including Radix morindae officinalis, Pleomele angustifolia, Eurycoma longifolia, Homalomena occulta, etc.
In the process of implementing models and projects to grow medicinal plants, especially with the participation and association of enterprises to actively bring medicinal products to the market, it is necessary to ensure the standards of pharmaceutical products in general and supplementary products in particular.
An important goal for the development of the province's pharmaceutical industry is to exploit natural medicinal plant species along with the protection and conservation of genetic resources, aiming to form a medicinal area to meet the needs of the development of the pharmaceutical industry. It is expected that Thua Thien Hue will become a pharmaceutical center in the North Central Region and the whole country in the near future, while at the same time participating in the domestic, regional and international pharmaceutical markets.
Story & photos: Hoai Thuong