Huge Potential To Commercialise Sarawak’s Non-forest Timber Products – Ag Tengah

Gaharu tree that produces the very lucrative and aromatic resin used in religious practices and for curing diseases.
Gaharu chips that would be processed to produce the very lucrative and aromatic resin used in religious practices, making perfumes and for curing diseases.

KUCHING – More efforts should be undertaken to develop, promote and commercialise Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) at home and abroad, says Second Minister of Resource Planning and Environment Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

He said Sarawak had huge potential to produce NTFPs as an estimated 65 per cent of the state was still covered by forest vegetation.

Speaking at “The Non-Timber Forest Products Heart of Borneo Sarawak 2016 Carnival’ here Thursday, he said products like ‘Tongkat Ali’ and ‘Kacip Fatimah’ were now very well known, even internationally.

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“We also have the Gaharu tree that produces the very lucrative and aromatic resin used in religious practices and for curing diseases.

“Between 2002 and 2008, Malaysia exported 1.4 million kilogrammes of Gaharu chips and block, worth RM483 million, and 161,485 kilogrammes of powdered Gaharu, valued at RM565,198.

“The state also exported 829 litres of Gaharu oil worth RM24 million” he said, adding that producers should also establish more organised cottage industries based on Gaharu, bamboo, rotan, spices, wild herbs and others.

Awang Tengah added that the government would continue to create more totally protected forest areas.

“We already have 2.1 million hectares in the Heart of Borneo.

“It is also the government’s plan to set aside another one million hectares,” he added.