The cash has been given to the Ontario Ginseng Growers' Association (OGGA) to help the farmers to promote and increase the visibility and demand for Canadian ginseng in current and emerging markets in the Asian region.
"Ontario ginseng farmers produce the best quality ginseng in the world, and the market opportunities are only set to grow. With this investment, our government is making sure ginseng farmers can promote their products to consumers in emerging markets, which will help create good jobs and strengthen our economy,” said Lawrence MacAulay, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
"This investment helps the Ontario ginseng sector promote brand awareness and increase demand for culinary and value-added products throughout Asia,” added local Member of Parliament Bryan May.
The OGGA will develop a social media and marketing campaign that includes increasing the awareness in Asia of the innovative uses for Canadian ginseng in products such as soups, teas and cosmetics. It will also support the promotion of trade shows in Asian markets.
Ginseng is one of Canada's largest field-grown horticultural exports, with export sales of over 2.63 million kilogrammes annually — at a value exceeding US$239 million in 2016.
Canada’s Budget 2017 focused on agri-food as one of the top industries in the government's plan to expand growth and to create jobs. It set an ambitious goal of growing Canada's agri-food exports to $75 billion by 2025.
According to the government, this investment is made under “Growing Forward 2”, its latest five-year, US$341 million, AgriMarketing Programme.
Remi van de Slyke, chairman of the OGGA, said: “The AgriMarketing Programme has transformed the ginseng industry in Ontario from an unknown entity to a global player."
The OGGA is a non-profit organisation of ginseng producers who grow, harvest and sell the herbal root. It represents more than 140 growers in Ontario, Canada.