Forest Farms Could Create Market for Ginseng, Other Herbs
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A transition from wild collection of herbs to forest farming needs to occur in Appalachia to make the opaque, unstable and unjust supply chain for forest medicinal plants such as ginseng sustainable, according to a team of researchers who have studied the market for more than a decade.

“In this case, ‘sustainability’ doesn’t refer just to conservation, although it very much applies to the preservation of these valuable forest medicinal plants and the ecosystems in which they are found,” said researcher Holly Chittum, a Penn State doctoral student in forest resources, who led the team. “But it also relates to social justice, equity and fair trade for the people at the base of the supply chain who harvest the plants.”

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