Brunei keen on herbal industry

National 1 minute, 43 seconds


BRUNEI Darussalam’s Heart of Borneo Centre is collaborating with South Korea’s Ministry of Environment to develop and establish a herbal industry in the country, said the centre’s chief executive officer.

In an interview with _The Brunei Times _recently, Mahmud Yussof said that the centre is working together with scientists from the ministry’s National Institution of Biological Research (NIBR) to conduct research on the sultanate’s natural resources that could be developed into herbal remedies or products.

“There are very few players in the country that are in the herbal industry (and) what we (HOB) are trying to do with this collaboration is to develop existing players and create new ones to establish an industry (herbal) that can contribute to the nation’s economic growth,” he said.

He said that an essential part of the collaboration is the involvement of the older generation of Bruneians for their traditional knowledge on the country’s wildlife, adding that scientists rely on traditional knowledge to validate the medicinal properties of certain herbs.

“One example is daun sirih (betel leaves). It is said that the herb has antibacterial properties (and) what scientists are doing with this traditional knowledge is to use modern technology to prove it and discover the active ingredients in the herb that is providing these properties,” said the CEO.

Mahmud went on to say that the centre is taking the opportunity to collaborate with the NIBR to further develop locals on matters of biological resources as the knowledge shared by the NIBR scientists will help local experts contribute to the growth of the herbal industry.

“We want to call on members of the public, particularly those with traditional knowledge on Brunei’s wildlife and entrepreneurs who are interested in entering the herbal industry, to be involved in our research,” he said.

He added that locals who have already produced their own herbal products may visit the HOB centre to make use of the findings from the collaboration with the NIBR that will enhance their products even further.

The Brunei Times