Geumsan is the 1,500 year old home of Korean ginseng: Geumsan Ginseng & Herb Development Agency

신태섭 기자l승인2021.10.26

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▲ Geumsan Ginseng & Herb Development Agency / Director Youngsu Kim

[Ginseng]
Geumsan County opened the Geumsan Ginseng Super Week on September 3 at the Geumsan County Susam Center. The 40 year old Geumsan Insam Festival has been postponed due to the pandemic and the supper week was organized instead to mark the anniversary. Many people paid a visit and saw and tasted excellence of Geumsan ginseng. Records say that people in Geumsan started cultivating ginseng 1,500 years ago. A story goes that a scholar dreamed a dream that a plant with three red fruits growing on a cliff, he picked it up and boiled it for his sick mother and the mother recovered after drinking it. An ancient Chinese book also records that Goryeo ginseng is better than that of Chinese and Baekje ginseng is better than that of Goryeo. Goreo might mean Kaesong and Baekje might mean Geumsan. 

[Geumsan Ginseng & Herb Development Agency]
The Geumsan Ginseng & Herb Development Agency set sail in July 2021 with Youngsu Kim, former director of the Chunghceongnam-do Agricultural Research & Extension Services, as the president. But the root of the agency goes back to a ginseng herbal medicine research center opened in December 2008. Around 600 ginseng related companies and organizations are registered as members of the agency and the job of the agency is to promote ginseng research, safety, training, marketing and promotion. GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) is the core part of the agency as it is related to securing trust between ginseng farmers and consumers home and abroad. Obtaining GAP Certificate is challenging as the ginseng must pass complicated tests and screenings. About 30% ginseng farmers of the agency have obtained GAP, the highest rate in the nation when compared to average 10%. An official of the agency said that the percentage is growing steadily and the agency would keep providing necessary support. Also notable of the agency is that it has carried on researches about medicinal effects of ginseng for a long time and the result is that ginseng can lower liver somatic index and improve its function. Based on this result, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has officially recognized ginseng as a material to improve liver function. “Geumsan has 1,500 years of history of growing ginseng and we are proud of this. It is our top priority for the agency to help member famers to obtain GAP Certificate which is very hard to obtain but at the same time it means that the GAP certified ginseng are trustworthy. We will gradually increase the current 30% figure to our desired target year by year and make Geumsan as the best ginseng brand in the nation as well as in the world. We expect the demand for ginseng will only go up as the price has dropped to affordable while average income of the people have increased” says the agency director Youngsu Kim. (PowerKorea) 

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