KUALA NERUS: The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) is ready to help more individuals in the B40 group get involved in gelam tree oil production through the Malaysia Social Innovation (MySI) fund.

Its Deputy Minister Datuk Ahmad Amzad Hashim said this was following the success of the community project carried out by Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) with youths in Kampung Padang Jejawi, Setiu and residents of the Tahfiz Lil Faizin Centre in Seberang Takir.

"Gelam tree oil is a source of wealth that can contribute to the economy if it is well commercialised specifically for the B40 group.

"Previously, the gelam tree oil was made traditionally but after going through UniSZA's scientific study, it can be commercialised using advanced technology and machinery. As for the ministry, we will help with certification, research and through the MySI fund."

He said this to reporters after visiting the gelam tree (from the myrtle family) oil extraction laboratory of Yayasan Inovasi Malaysia at the East Coast Environmental Research Institute (ESERI), here, today.

Through the project, the youths in Kampung Padang Jejawi and the tahfiz centre are involved in gathering gelam leaves, oil refining and product packaging and they will receive continuous training from UniSZA to be able to produce the final products for beauty, hygiene, skin allergy and health care.

Meanwhile, ESERI director who is also the project's lead researcher, Assoc Prof Dr Hafizan Juahir said gelam tree oil has a huge potential for the local and international markets due to its high efficacy level.

"Currently, we have not commercialised it on a large scale, it's only for the local market such as gelam soaps and oils which are suitable for minor wound treatment and beauty care.

"ESERI will increase its production activities in the near future to help the community generate additional income through this project by applying for funds from MOSTI, namely MySI," he said.