Maran FRIM Research Station (SPF) is located in Ulu Luit, Maran, Pahang, next to the Betong Forest Reserve. The nearest human settlement is the Kampung Ulu Luit, which is situated 1 km and connected by an earth road. The distance between the substation and Maran town is 16 km, on the way to Kuantan, while from FRIM Kepong is 197 km. The substation covers 50 ha of hilly terrain where the gradient ranges from 2—35 degrees.
The substation is under Natural Products Division in FRIM. It was established in 2000 after securing the land title from the state government of Pahang, to serve the growing interest in medicinal plants towards developing new pharmaceutical products.
In line with the increasing demand for herbal products in Malaysia, the requirement for raw materials has increased as well. For this reason, harvesting of the natural resources from the natural forest is unavoidable. Depletion of resources is happening at an alarming rate and without proper control these materials will be extinct.
With this in mind, FRIM established the Maran substation for the purpose of planting and processing medicinal herbs as well as an ex-situ conservation site where all research on medicinal herb planting and basic processing will be based. As a research body, FRIM has played an active role towards preservation and conservation of our natural resources, as such, FRIM has taken on the challenge to overcome and provide solutions to the problem.
Planting of the medicinal herbs in the substation began in an open area in 2000, begining with tongkat ali (Eurycoma longifolia), misai kucing (Orthosiphon aristatus) and mengkudu (Morinda citrifolia). It was followed by the planting of tongkat ali (Eurycoma longifolia), kacip fatimah (Labisia pumila), pudina (Mentha arvensis), tutup bumi (Elephantopus scaber) and kunyit (Curcuma domestica) under oil palm plantations in 2003. At present about 40% of the total area has been planted with medicinal herbs.
Information and advisory services on breeding and usage of herbal and medicinal plants, and planting stocks are available to the public upon request.