Pharmaniaga expands supplements product range

The firm launches the ‘Black Seed, Baraka Throughout the Ages’ campaign to promote Baraka

By ASILA JALIL & NUR HANANI AZMAN / Pic RAZAK GHAZALI

PHARMANIAGA Bhd is growing its portfolio of health supplements. Its subsidiary, Pharmaniaga Logistics Sdn Bhd (PLSB), has been appointed by Pharco Pharmaceuticals Inc of Egypt as the sole distributor of health supplements, Baraka, in Malaysia.

According to Pharmaniaga, PLSB has appointed Pristine Pharma Sdn Bhd (another subsidiary of Pharmaniaga) as the sole distributor of Baraka.

“We also launched the ‘Black Seed, Baraka Throughout the Ages’ campaign across the country to promote Baraka and its health benefits to users.

‘Throughout the Ages’ is part of the campaign slogan given the use of black seed or habbatus sauda oil to improve the quality of health comprehensively, Pharmaniaga stated in a release yesterday.

Black Seed oil by Baraka comes in the form of soft gel capsules and is produced in accordance with international standards by assuring consumers that it is safe and halal.

Last week, Pharmaniaga and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) signed an agreement to collaborate on the scientific and commercial development of kelulut honey, also known as stingless bee honey.

The project aims to encourage wider participation in the sales and marketing of the honey, which would yield great returns if it is further explored and commercially developed.

The collaboration agreement was signed by Pharmaniaga group MD Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope (picture) and UMT vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Nor Aieni Mokhtar last Friday.

The event was also witnessed by Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad.

Zulkarnain said despite the high returns that can be obtained from the sales of the honey, local production has not met the high demand of Malaysian consumers.

“The production for kelulut honey is still low compared to the current demand in the country which is six times more. This shows that the kelulut breeding industry in Malaysia can be used as a source of income to elevate the socio-economic standards of its entrepreneurs,” he said at the event.

The stingless bee honey industry is currently valued at RM33.6 million but the potential value of the market is estimated to be double at RM67.2 million.

Under the agreement, both parties will collaborate to commercialise the honey at a larger scale and provide grants to help local communities expand the business.

Zulkarnain said the pharmaceutical group will participate in a business that focuses on healthy lifestyle by processing and marketing high-quality honey from UMT’s research and development (R&D) team.

A land spanning across 81ha in Bukit Kor, Terengganu, owned by UMT will be developed for the project. The university will provide a minimum of 300kg of honey every month to kickstart the initiative.

The amount of honey provided by the institution is poised to increase once the project is extended to more stingless bee breeders nationwide.

“We have discussed with a few countries, but the demand is too high. The demand is between 20 tonnes and 30 tonnes a month and at the moment, we can only meet the requirement of five tonnes per month in Malaysia.

“That is why we are looking at the project commercially for now,” he said.

Nor Aieni said the university has a lot of professionals involved in stingless bee breeding due to its R&D activities that have been done for more than 10 years.

“UMT researchers have been involved in the breeding of stingless bees since 2014. A plot for 30 stingless bee colonies as opened at the campus,” she said.

As Boustead Holdings Bhd and the Armed Forces Fund Board are the major shareholders of Pharmaniaga, the group aims to extend the participation of the project to retirees of the armed forces.

Ismail Sabri said this initiative would be able to help the veterans who had served the country.

The retired armed forces who are interested in the project will receive assistance in the forms of capital, training and guidance on how to run a stingless bee farm which could enhance their entrepreneurship skills while helping them generate income.

“They are trained individuals from the armed forces with high discipline and durability. This opportunity allows them to be given sufficient training and support in the field,” he said.