Chinese Herbs to Grow in Malaysia
Answered by: Zhongfa Wu
Question from: Andy Lim
Posted on: December 16, 2007

I am a Malaysian, and wish to get involved in a commercial plantation of herbs. I have a piece of land in West Malaysia near to the seaside, which is currently growing fruits. I intend to convert it into a herbs plantation. What are the herb plants most in demand world wide currently? I intend to start with 2 acres land in the beginning. I hope you can provide some advice.

As the demand for botanical medicines has grown globally the commercial herb growing industry has developed quickly in recent years. However, plans for a herb project have to be carefully prepared. Besides looking at market demand as you mentioned in your email, some other important things that need to be considered are: proper varieties, processing methods, storage and transport -- all of these factors need to be matched to your specific climate, cultivation condition and market.

The herb varieties demanded by the market are different from year to year. Because I’ve been away from southern China for a couple of years, I consulted several of my friends in China; they are all experts on herb business. According to these experts, a few herbs are in high demand in recent years in Asia. Here is a list of suitable herbs for your area. The first one is medicinal Evodia fruit (Evodia rutaecarpa); this is a small tree, and the medicinal used part is its fruit which is harvested in 2-3 years. Second, Qian Jin Ba (Flemingia Roxb.) it’s a half climbing plant, medicinal used part is its roots, it also harvests in 2-3 years. Common Baphicacanthus Leaf (Baphicacanthus cusia): it’s medicinal used part is its leaves. It can be harvested in one year. These three above are not only popular in the recent years; according to the market predictions, they will also be popular in the future. Other than these three, there are also other herbs that has a fair amount of demand in your area, such as sharpleaf galangal fruit (Alpinia oxyphylla), turmeric rhizome (Curcuma longa), katsumade galangal (Alpinia Katsumadai), etc.

Before you plan to develop herb plantation, there are some things you need to consider. I hope the advices above can be helpful to you, and good luck!

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