BERNAMA News - ... Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Malaysia's Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, visited Biotropics Malaysia Bhd, one of the anchor companies under the Agriculture, High-Value Herbal Products, National Key Economic Areas (NKEA), which conducts pre-clinical and clinical research on the product, Tongkat Ali.
He said the government would always support the Tongkat Ali industry which is one of the major herbs in the country to ensure it was protected and maintained.
"We find the Tongkat Ali industry facing numerous challenges such as the existence of many quarters who export the raw herb forcing the local industry to vie with outsiders who take our treasure.”
"The herb is also largely harvested from the wild, it may be extinct in the next 20 years if there is no effort to cultivate it," he said. In this regard, he saw progressive encouragements for the commercial planting of Tongkat Ali via the plantation method could ensure the supply is adequate for export.
In addition, he said, the indiscriminate harvesting of raw materials including Tongkat Ali should be checked and enforcement must be enhanced to ensure the forest resources were protected for future generations.
"The ministry may also set up a National Herbal Council with the cooperation of the Health Ministry to boost demand for herbs in the country specifically Tongkat Ali," he added.