Join us for the 2018-19 NEMA Agroforestry Webinar Series!
Neither Wild nor Cultivated: Insights into the International Trade of American Ginseng
Friday, February 1st @ 1:30 PM EDT
~ with Dr. Eric Burkhart (Penn State University and Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center)
Pennsylvania is one of nineteen states in the United States of America (U.S.A.) that exports wild American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) roots to Asian countries where the species is used medicinally. This study utilized a confidential annual survey instrument over a seven-year period (2012-2018) to gather information from sellers regarding ginseng husbandry behaviors that might influence reported trade volumes in Pennsylvania. Results indicate that a variety of husbandry practices are used to produce ginseng which ultimately is sold and traded as “wild,” ranging from intensive agroforestry (e.g., “forest farming”) to enrichment plantings. As many as one-fifth of sellers indicated that the ‘wild’ ginseng sold originated from intentional planting on forestlands. This scenario presents a dilemma regarding interpretation of “wild” harvest data because current industry reporting mechanisms are in many cases insufficient to accommodate the complex range of husbandry practices being utilized, and which often result in “wild” appearing roots. Seller/producer concerns and misgivings about issues such as price gouging, theft, taxation, coupled with a lack of consensus around what constitutes “wild,” collectively drive much of the secrecy around forest-based husbandry and cultivation of this important non-timber forest product.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.