PRICKLY GIN­GER PLANT

Viet Nam News - - FRONT PAGE - ❱ Phan Tuấn Anh

Easy to plant, care for and of­fer­ing high prices, this plant has helped ease poverty in part of the north­ern prov­ince of Điện Biên

Tỏa Tình Com­mune in Tuần Giáo Dis­trict is home to the largest plan­ta­tion of sa nhân (a mem­ber of the gin­ger fam­ily) in the north­ern prov­ince of Điện Biên.

The plant has been planted in the area for over 20 years now.

With the char­ac­ters of be­ing easy to plant, care and of­fer­ing high price, the plant has be­come a source that helps erase poverty and de­vel­ops sus­tain­able econ­omy for lo­cals.

In 2019, there was 120ha of sa nhân in the com­mune, which were mostly cul­ti­vated by vil­lagers from Lồng and Hua Sa A. Last year lo­cals har­vested 1,200kg per ha.

The plants grow 2-3 me­tres high and look like galan­gal, but its roots do not de­velop into tu­bers.

Sa nhân’s roots spread all over un­der a thin layer of soil, some­times emerge on the sur­face.

The flow­ers are white min­gled with pur­ple and grow in clus­ters. Its fruit is round and cov­ered in thorns, with three pods of fra­grant dark brown seeds in­side.

Ac­cord­ing to tra­di­tional medicine, sa nhân, also known as súc sa mật, is a valu­able plant with high med­i­cal value which helps mod­er­ate the di­ges­tive sys­tem.

Be­sides, the oil from the plant is also used to pro­duce spices, per­fume and sham­poo.

Dried sa nhân fruits have good med­i­cal value for the hu­man di­ges­tive sys­tem.

They are planted in the jun­gle un­der old trees, and it takes three years be­fore the fruit can be har­vested.

At present, the av­er­age ca­pac­ity is be­tween 100-200kg of dried fruits per ha per year.

Each kilo­gramme of dried fruit is sold for VNĐ100.000 – 200.000 (US$4.3 - 8.6), so each ha of sa nhân brings in some VNĐ40 mil­lion ($1,700).

VNA/VNS Pho­tos Phan Tuấn Anh

LOVE YOUR GUTS: Dried sa nhân fruits have good med­i­cal value for the hu­man di­ges­tive sys­tem.

HARD WORK: A woman harvests sa nhân.

POW­ER­FUL: Sa nhân seeds have a strong fra­grance.

CHOP, CHOP: A lo­cal woman clears wild grass to plant sa nhân.

NA­TURE'S BOUNTY: Sa nhân fruits fall to the root.

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