Jun 20, 2012
Lemba or curculigo latifolia is native to Malaysia. We grow them at the farm to preserve them.
It has tiny, bright yellow flowers
They have fibers that can be used to make ropes and textiles.
A rope made from the fibre. Strong enough for farm use.
The Ibans use the fibre to make a textile called 'pua'
And most importantly, they have a taste-modifying protein which changes plain water and sour drinks to sweet. Japanese researchers have patented the protein.
Bunch of lemba fruits
The tiny taste-modifying fruits
Foreign researchers coming into Malaysia should be required to sign an agreement to share patent-rights and commercial benefits with the people of Malaysia as represented by the Government.
It is ridiculous and maddening to hear foreign researchers write that they have discovered that the plant can modify the taste of sour drinks to sweet when it is most likely the case that the local people told them about the plant and it is something the local people have known for generations.
We have numerous emails, some frenetic, wanting this herb and that herb etc. from researchers local and foreign. I am sorry, I won't even bother to answer your email unless at the outset you declare that all research findings, etc will be shared, and in the event of patents, commercial profits, etc., to be share with an institution of our choosing.