KANGAR: The planting of ketum trees for medicinal purpose is one of two projects planned by the Perlis government to generate additional revenue.
Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azlan Man said the other project would be generating solar energy in Chuping Valley, a sunny hot area with temperatures reaching more than 40 degrees Celsius.
Speaking to reporters here Monday, Azlan said the ketum planting project would be carried out in Sungai Chuchuh, Padang Besar, in collaboration with Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP).
He said the state government had received requests from local and foreign companies, including from China and the United States, that were keen to carry out solar energy-generating projects.
He added that the interested companies, however, needed to discuss the matter first with Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) which was appointed to market solar energy.
According to Azlan, about one quarter of the 1,200 hectares of land provided for the Chuping Valley development project would be used for the solar project on a lease basis for the interested companies.
He said UniMAP, meanwhile, had been asked to do intensive research to find out how useful ketum leaves were for medicinal purpose before large, commercial-scale growing of the plant could be carried out.
Historically in Perlis, ketum leaves had been used to treat flatulence and diarrhoea, he added.– BERNAMA