|Chu Thị Lan in her herb garden in Đắk Lắk Province. — Photo tienphong.vn|
ĐẮK LẮK — With a love for plants, a young woman who owns a bachelor's degree in foreign trade in a remote commune of Đắk Lắk Province starts a business with herbal products.
She now supplies the market with safe natural products that help improve health.
She is Chu Thị Lan, 30, in Ea Kly Commune of Krông Pắk District.
Lan uses her family's garden which used to grow coffee, to plant herbs of mint, lemon, lemongrass, rosemary and some medicinal herbs.
Because the soil conditions of the Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) region are sandy clay, Lan planted the herbs according to the model of a forest garden, cutting grass low to keep the soil moist.
Sharing how she come to enjoy growing herbs, Lan told the Tiền phong (Vanguard) newspaper that in 2015, she had the opportunity to participate in a cultural exchange activity between Việt Nam and Japan in Japan's Iwate province.
Here, she visited a farm named Tategamori Ark, and one year later, she applied to work there.
She wanted to learn how to do organic farming so that she could start a farming business in Việt Nam.
“My first year in Japan, I was impressed by Japanese people's habit of drinking herbal tea after every dinner," Lan recalled.
"I was gradually exposed to herbs and realised their effects in life, so I started saving money to study natural therapies," Lan said.
"From there, the love for herbs keeps growing," she said.
In the middle of 2021, Lan returned to Việt Nam and started her own business.
“Despite having a bachelor degree of foreign trade in HCM City, after graduating, I turned to work in agriculture," Lan said.
"Lacking knowledge and experience in business management and operation, I failed in experimental planting, and many times I wanted to give up," said Lan.
But with the assistance of her Japanese husband who helped her arrange works as well as regularly updated her agricultural knowledge in Japan, she became even more determined to pursue clean and sustainable agriculture.
With the knowledge of herbs learned in Japan, Lan launched a project named Lanchans using Japanese Medical Herb knowledge known as natural therapeutic methods.
“The herbs used in the Japanese Medical Herb programme are mostly familiar herbs in Việt Nam, of which 70 per cent are suitable in Đắk Lắk climate," Lan said.
"I realised the 'green gold mine' right in my hometown and was determined to develop it," Lan shared.
To produce herbal tea and other herbal products, Lan set up the main raw material area right in her home garden in Đắk Lắk Province.
In addition, she co-operates with a number of farms in other provinces of Hòa Bình, Hải Hương and Lâm Đồng.
At present, her Lanchans products are divided into two groups.
One is mixed herbal teas to help maintain health as well as prevent and support the treatment of diseases caused by unhealthy lifestyle. And the other is herbal skin and hair care products.
One of the teas that Lan is most interested in is detox tea. The tea includes ingredients such as six-month-old dandelion root, burdock, nettle leaves containing many nutrients and minerals, rosehip fruit full of Vitamin C, and anise to help support fat breakdown.
This is a type of tea providing minerals necessary for the body to recover from illness, Lan said.
Through herbal tea and herbal products, Lan wishes to be able to disseminate Japanese Medical Herb knowledge in Việt Nam accurately, thereby creating a new trend in health care.
Moreover, she wants to supply the market with natural and safe products that help remedy health problems caused by lifestyle.
“Now that people's lives are improving, they are gradually more aware of their health and natural therapy is effective and safe," said Lan.
"Especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, more attention has been paid to the use of herbs in health care and improvement," Lan added.
At the competition of starting-up business in Đắk Lắk Province last year, her Lanchans project of herbal tea and herbal products based on Japanese Medical Herb won first prize. — VNS