Indonesian research center for medicinal plants displaces incense harvesters

Indonesian research center for medicinal plants displaces incense harvesters

HUMBANG HASUNDUTAN, Indonesia — Indonesia has an enormous variety of plants with medicinal properties, and traditional herbal medicines such as jamu are still widely used by both urban and rural populations. At least 80% of the medicinal plant species in Southeast Asia can be found in Indonesia. In 2021, the Indonesian government announced plans to build an expansive research center to study these plants. “Indonesia has 30,000 herbal plant species, so the president is aiming to build a world-class herbal research center, which we are currently developing together with the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology [BPPT] and five universities,” said Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s coordinating investment minister, while visiting the research center’s construction site in North Sumatra in February 2021. He added the university leading the development is the Del Institute of Technology, which he founded in 2001. The research center, which the government has dubbed the Herbal and Horticultural Science and Technology Park, known by its Indonesian acronym TSTH, is located in the Pollung area of Humbang Hasundutan district, North Sumatra province. Government officials say the goal of the project is to create a central location for the cultivation and study of herbal plants from all over Indonesia so that the country can manufacture herbal medicines on an international scale. The TSTH is also meant to help develop new plants and seeds that can be used to improve the country’s agricultural efficiency. The research center will also be connected to a 2,000-hectare (4,900-acre) food estate program,…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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