A Maori-owned company believes it can grow the popular Asian herb ginseng in New Zealand better than countries where it originates.
The Maraeroa C Incorporation will harvest its first crop of ginseng in March after seven years of trials growing the herb under a pine forest canopy in Te Kuiti.
Chief executive of the Incorporation, Glen Katu, is confident his company can supply the Asian market with more ginseng, of better quality, than it has.
He says New Zealand has a milder winter which means better growing conditions for ginseng, unlike northern China which has a shorter window when the herb can grow.
Mr Katu says ginseng no longer grows in the wild in many Asian countries because of deforestation or pollution.