Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Production Vegetables
Building new markets for ginseng


May 5, 2010
By Fruit & Vegetable

Topics

May
4, 2010, Guelph, Ont – An innovative residue extraction process for Ontario
ginseng is poised to open up new market opportunities for the high value crop.



May
4, 2010, Guelph, Ont – An innovative residue extraction process for Ontario
ginseng is poised to open up new market opportunities for the high value crop.

According
to the results of a pilot project, the new method allows for the removal of
crop protection residues without affecting the structure and quality of the
ginseng.

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“Crop
protection residues have been one of the main trade barrier issues for Ontario
ginseng,” says Doug Bradley, a ginseng grower and president of the Ontario
Ginseng Growers’ Association
. “With the growing market for ginseng, we wanted
to find a way to extract those residues without impacting our end product.”

Ontario’s
ginseng crop is grown in the fertile soils of the province’s former tobacco
belt, where DDT was once used in tobacco production. Trace residues of the
long-discontinued product can be detected in the ginseng root and existing
extraction processes, while successful, alter the structure and quality of the
ginseng. This means lower prices and fewer markets for Ontario’s ginseng
farmers.

A
grant of $29,292 from the Ontario Research and Development (ORD) program,
administered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC), helped fund efforts
by the Ontario Ginseng Growers’ Association to evaluate the feasibility and
cost-effectiveness of this new extraction process through a project lead
jointly by researchers at the University of Ottawa and Loyalist College in
Belleville.

“Ontario
ginseng is a world leader in quality due to our unique soil and climate,” says
Jim Rickard, AAC chair. “We are pleased to be able to provide funding these
kinds of innovative projects that will help advance the competitiveness of
Ontario’s agricultural producers.”

The ORD program is a $2.5
million, two-year initiative established in January 2008 by the Ontario
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
. The goal of the program is to
promote the long-term viability and competitiveness of Ontario agriculture by
investing in research and development projects.