Sunday, January 02, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 (Bernama) -- The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) has received approval for Terengganu to develop a Herbal Cultivation Park on 461 hectares in Pasir Raja, Terengganu.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, the lead ministry for the Agriculture National Key Economic Area (NKEA), today announced that the land would be used to cultivate seven types of herbs in high demand, namely Tongkat Ali, Kacip Fatimah, Misai Kucing, Dukung Anak, Hempedu Bumi, Agar wood and Lemon Mrytle.
The Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) said in a statement that Tongkat Ali was expected to bring the highest annual revenue, estimated at RM225,000 per hectare, followed by Dukung Anak, which is expected to bring an estimated RM136,500 per hectare annually.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar said the global trade of natural products amounted to RM777 billion in 2006, and was projected to triple to over RM2 trillion by 2020.
He said the project, which would create 285 jobs, was a crucial step to ensure the availability of a ready source of raw material as Malaysia moved up the value chain to become a leader in the production of nutraceuticals and botanical drugs.
ECERDC is also planning to develop two additional herbal parks in Chegar Perah and Rantau Manis, which are expected to take off in 2011 and 2013, respectively.
"The global demand for agriculture produce is expanding rapidly and there are many niches that Malaysia can exploit, given our natural advantages. We aim to double the agriculture sector’s contribution to the Gross National Income by expanding the production of high-value items and increasing the percentage of raw produce that is made into downstream products," Noh said.
"Through better infrastructure, management techniques and technology, we also target to increase productivity to enable farmers participating in our projects to more than double the monthly income that they receive,” he added.