The Middle Tennessee State University paired up with its primary research partner in China to create a joint ginseng institute.

That announcement came on Monday as the institute will focus on studying, developing and promoting Tennessee-grown ginseng and other herbal products for sale in Asia.

MTSU signed the deal in May in Nanning, China. The plan includes a $30 million facility in China that will include 130 research and staff members.

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Tennessee is one of three state among 19 in the U.S. that can legally harvest and trade ginseng. The other two states are Kentucky and North Carolina.

According to a statement from MTSU, more than 100 Tennessee farmers have signed up to learn how to grow something called "wild-simulated ginseng." Ginseng is an herb in popular demand in China as it is said to boost the immune system and was one of the first herbs from traditional Chinese medicine to be widely used.

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