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Name: Alvin Tung Kwong Choong( BK12110017) Session 1

Main Title: The Commercialisation of the Herbal Industry In Malaysia


Individual Topic: Research and Development (R&D) as a way to
commercialise the herbal industry in Malaysia
Body Paragraph 1
One of the ways to enhance commercialisation through R&D is through
biotechnological development. Biotechnology is the global technology
for the 21st century. It helps to build up our research community and
creates tremendous benefits not only for herbal industries but for
generating

new

products

and

job

opportunities.

Biotechnology

development will ensure our country herbal industry to have ability to


process herb materials to higher value products from low cost
production of the herb materials. As we know, Malaysia is rich in
biological resources and therefore can be the source of natural
products and can lead to new pharmaceuticals. (Christopher D. Howe,
1997, pg. 315) Plant biotechnological application like tissue culture to
derive high quality planting sources has been done in Malaysia for
some times. (Rita Manurung, Kueh Hong Siong, 1997, pg. 23.)
However, biotechnology development in our local herbal industry is
much more critical compared with other countries for several reasons.
One of the challenges faced by local herbal industry is lack of talent
and well-trained work force which can define and devise strategies.
The

other

problem

is

infrastructure

capable

of

main-training

biotechnological research and development. (Kenneth L. Giles, 2007,


pg. 273) Most of the university structure and research facilities in
Malaysia are not fulfiling biotechnology development requirements due
to economics limitations such as expensive equipment and supplies
necessary for many forms of biotech. One of the ways to solve this
problem is to send talent to learn from the countries which lead the

biotechnology development such as United Kingdom and Canada.


Besides that, investment in biotechnology development should be
done by both government and private sector so that more innovative
and creative strategies can be implemented.
Body Paragraph 2
Another

method to enhance commercialisation through R&D is to

discover and develop varieties of herbal products. R&D into varieties of


herbal plants not only help us to discover more valuable herbal plants
and improve our research community, besides also generate our
countrys income if a new species of plants have been discovered
which is the cure in some specific treatment such as AIDS or H1N1. In
Malaysia, R&D towards commercialisation of herbal products only
focuses on 10 herbal plants Tongkat Ali, Kicap Fatimah, Misai Kucing,
Dukung Anak and Hempedu Bumi, Pegaga, Ginger, Mengkudu, Roselle
and Mas Cotek. (Ramlan, 2007, pg. 18) What a pity if only R&D only
focus into 10 types of herbal plants if we tell the others Malaysia has
more than 2000 species of plants which has medicinal value! Actually
there

are

more

and

more

herbal

plants

which

also

have

commercialisation value such as Aloe Vera, buah pala and rotan


gunung.

For

an

example,

according

to

National

Center

Of

Complementary and Alternative Medicine(NCCAM), Aloe Vera is not


longer only able to heal wounds, burns and various skin conditions and
nowadays is used widely as a folk remedy for a variety of conditions
such as diabetes and asthma. Malaysia has a very suitable climate for
planting Aloe Vera . Why dont try we to commercialise it? In order to
create a varieties of herbal products and play as a major player in
global market, Malaysia should be dare to try and discover some new
species of herbal plants through R&D which have medicinal value to
fulfil the markets need.

Body Paragraph 3
Another way to enhance commercialisation through R&D is to improve
planting and harvesting technologies. Improving and developing
planting and harvesting technologies will produce the herbal products
with high quality with high efficiency at low cost. Harvesting machines
and tools such as tractor, transplanter, sprayer, low energy water
applicaton, solar tunnel dryer are some of the creative operations have
been done in Malaysia to achieve productivity and profitability.
(Malaysia Council Of Agricultural Research, 2009, pg. 165) However,
most of the operations are not familiar. Besides, most of the
universities and research facilities in Malaysia do not have complete
facilities and machines due to economics limitations such as expensive
equipment. Without innovative R&D, Malaysias local herbal industry
will lag behind other countries although we have many natural herbal
resources. One of the ways to resolve this issue is to attract more
foreign investment into this field. The reasons is when they invest in
our country, they also bring in their technologies as well and thus will
develop and improve our existing technologies which maybe outdated.
Besides, the cooperation between private and government sector
should be carried out so that exchanging idea can be carried out.