Friday November 24, 2017   Last updated 05:57AM

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Maori landowner looks to boost ginseng harvest

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The efforts of a south Waikato Maori land trust to pioneer New Zealand ginseng production has been boosted with a $40,000 grant from the Ministry for Primary industries' Maori agribusiness fund.

Maraeroa C Incorporation started planting 20 hectares of high value wild simulated Asian panax ginseng underneath its 5,550 hectare pine plantation in 2006 and had its first commercial harvest last year.

It is now looking to double the size of its ginseng plantation and build a processing factory in Pureora.

The grant will help it complete an investment information memorandum and business plan for potential investors.

Chief executive Glen Katu says the expansion would mean hiring more local staff for ginseng production, processing and distribution.

There’s also an opportunity for further investment in research and development of new ginseng product lines, as well as the need to build greater awareness in China about the quality of New Zealand ginseng products.

Mr Katu says there's room for other forestry operators, and recent studies show Central North Island forests are an ideal place for growing good quality ginseng, which can generate returns of up to $400,000 a hectare.

Copyright © 2017, UMA Broadcasting Ltd:

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