Govt to establish official data for herbal sector

By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) is looking at establishing an official data and statistic for the traditional and complementary herbal sector to spur the industry growth.

Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said at present, there is no definite data that represents the country’s herbal and alternative medicine sector.

“Currently, we do not have data and figures that show the size of the herbal and complementary medicine industry. The Malaysian Bioeconomy Development Corp Sdn Bhd (Bioeconomy Corp), an agency under Mosti, is as far as we have to collect data for the industry,” Madius Tangau said at the 10th Herbal Asia: Asia’s Premier Herbal, Green and Natural Trade Show and Conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Madius said with the data and statistics, the ministry will be able to formulate a plan to spur the growth of the industry as well as help any potential companies individually.

“The herbal industry is being developed by many quarters and not just us. For example, there are more than 600,000 small and medium-sized companies in Malaysia, where many of them deal with herbal medicines.

“However, many of these companies do not register with us. It would be interesting if we can know the exact figures, so that we can monitor these companies and plan to push the industry further,” he said.

At present, there are 2,000 plant species in Malaysia that have been identified to have medicinal value.

“The ministry, through agencies and research institutions, is looking at turning the resources found in Malaysia into commercialised value-added products,” he said.

The minister said Bioeconomy Corp helps to develop biotechnology companies, which includes herbal medicine sector companies.

So far, there are 20 companies registered under the agency that received global presence and listed in international market exchange.

At present 286 companies registered with Bioeconomy Corp have received the Bio-Nexus recognition for market-changing development for the bio-based industry.

The Herbal Asia: Asia’s Premier Herbal, Green and Natural Trade Show and Conference, to be held between Sept 20 and Sept 22 in Kuala Lumpur, is expected to be attended by 10,000 visitors ranging from industry players, non-profit organisations, trade associations, and universities students.

The three-day exhibition and conference event is aimed at promoting the local herbal, green and natural supplements to the Asian market.

This year’s trade show received more than 400 local and international exhibitors including Taiwan, India, Korea, Sri Lanka and China.