Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Brunei Town

Call to expand research into local herbs

Hakim Hayat

Legislative Council (LegCo) member Yang Berhormat Haji Ramli bin Haji Lahit mooted the idea of expanding scientific research on the health benefits and efficacy of local herbs for commercialisation at the fourth day of the 18th LegCo meeting yesterday.

The LegCo member said while Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) has ongoing research and collaborations in biodiversity and environment, more should be done on herbs that are sold in the form of leaves, roots and barks available in local markets.

“These are not processed and the contents or efficacy not scientifically studied,” he said, adding that there should be collaboration with market and stall vendors to help improve their products with comprehensive scientific information.

Minister of Education Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman replied that research has been carried out by UBD and a herb garden has been established on the university campus.

However, he said “commercialisation viability stage has not been reached yet“.

He said studies such as using herbs as an alternative for sugar and also other forms of studies have been made and he hoped that the research process will in turn enable the practical manufacturing of products in the future.

The minister said the Centre for Biodiversity at Belalong in Temburong District is a platform for collaboration of local and international researchers in studies of the country and Borneo’s biodiversity and continues to generate valuable knowledge.

Meanwhile, LegCo member Yang Berhormat Haji Emran bin Haji Sabtu asked on Universiti Teknologi Brunei’s (UTB) research in developing innovative technological products which could help boost the economy.

The minister replied that the studies being made by UTB have not yet reached the stage for commercialisation as they have to go through various complex and long processes such
as patenting.

Legislative Council members and Cabinet ministers attend the fourth day of the 18th LegCo session. PHOTO: INFOFOTO