KUCHING: The herbal industry has huge economic potential that would enable Malaysia to compete with foreign countries in producing herbal
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said many medicinal plants grow in the forest, of which some 600 species have been recorded and identified.
“Some of these may be produced by the people for sale overseas such as ‘gaharu,’ ‘Tongkat Ali’ and ‘Kacip Fatimah’, which are already well-known,” he said at the Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) Carnival Sarawak 2019 at Kuching Waterfront here yesterday.
His text of speech was read by Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh.
According to Abang Johari, the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has estimated that about 80 per cent of the world’s population depended on herbal medicines, which are predicted to reach an annual global value of US$100 billion by 2020.
“Of this, 45 per cent is said to be in the European market alone while in Malaysia, annual sales have reached RM4.5 billion.”
He added that herbs can be used in the production of high-value products in food and health industries, pharmaceuticals, traditional remedies, healthcare products, flavours, dyes as well as for production of essential oil for cosmetic and medicinal use.