Agarwood

Agarwood

Dark colour fragrant resin produced by the certain plant members of family Thymaleaceae. Most commonly, the resin is known as Agarwood, Aloes wood, Eaglewood, Gaharu, Agalocha or Oudh (In Arabic). However, species of the genus Aquilaria are mostly known for the production of agarwood – it’s a fast growing, evergreen tree. Agarwood or oudh forms as a tree reacts to an infection, form a protective oil using its defense mechanism, which exudes a fragrance, into wounded areas, which gradually become harder and darker in color.

Areas Mostly “Aquilaria” is grown

Aquilaria species that produce agarwood are found throughout Asia, more commonly in South and Southeast Asia. Today Agarwood plantations exist in a number of countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Laos, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and Vietnam. Sadaharitha Plantations has paved way for the introduction of this plant to Sri Lanka.

Suitability

The plant can grow on a wide range of soils. Seedlings of most species establish best in shady, moist conditions. Although sometimes matured, adult trees have emerged in forests with the ability to fully withstand the sun. Some species can be found growing on steep, rocky, exposed slopes, and in regions that experience a hot, dry season. In Sri Lanka low country wet zone has proven suitable for Aquilaria plantations.

Use of Agarwood

Agarwood is a billion dollar industry, in which the ever increasing price is attributed to the constantly growing demand in larger markets such as Middle- East, China, USA and Europe for chips, oil, carvings and incense products. Additionally, Chinese medicine uses powdered Aquilaria as a treatment for cirrhosis of the liver and for other medicines. It has also been used as a treatment for lung and stomach tumors.

Why Is Agarwood Expensive?

Low yield from plant material, typical and labor intensive process of extraction, high demand and supply gap are a few reasons for the high costing of Agarwood oil. Another reason for Agarwood to be expensive is the threat of becoming endangered. The most important resin-producing species of Aquilaria are protected worldwide under the CITES (The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) convention as well as by the World Conservation Union, IUCN.

  • Oil : 10,000-35,000 per litre
  • Chips and flakes : 50-15,000 per
  • Yellow powder : 20-60 per kg
  • Waste powder : 5-8 per kg

· Above market prices depends on the quality of oil, chips, flakes and powder.

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