The areca nut farmers have been in search of an alternative for their existing cropping pattern. The acute shortage of labors and the uncertain monsoon have been real concern for our farmers. At this critical juncture, Kadamba decided to intervene and started exploring other avenues for them. One such alternate was “Agar Wood”.
Agar wood grows very well in our hilly region and has been fetching good dividends, too. . Kadamba has undertaken an intensive study with regard to this crop. It was in 2009, that Kadamba introduced this tree to the farmers of Uttar Kannada district. “Agar wood” is one of the scented trees being cultivated in south eastern countries so far.
In India, it is considered as one of the endangered species by the environmental department. But one can find the artificial cultivation in the north eastern region, particularly in the state of Assam.
Agar wood is in high demand in Middle East & Western countries.
This tree grows very well in our hilly region and fetches good dividends. Sometimes, it is more remunerative than sandal wood.
Since 2009, Kadamba has been in touch with other organizations like Vanadurgi Agar Wood Public Limited which deals in this crop and as such this was introduced it to the farmers of Uttar Kannada district.
Now, there are more than 1500 farmers growing this tree and this has been proved as a new milestone in the area of horticulture in Uttara Kannada district. The area expansion program is still continuing.
Today, under the leadership of ‘Kadamba Foundation, Agar Wood has become a familiar horticultural crop in this region. And gradually expanding it base in the neighboring districts also.
Agar wood (gaharu, aloe wood) is formed in a tropical evergreen tree called Agar tree (Aquilaria species) which is believed to have originated from Assam, India. Agarwood, both the oil and the wood, is derived from around 3 species of Aquilaria tree which grows, from the states of Eastern India through Burma, down through Thailand, Indochina and along the Malaya peninsula to Papua New Guinea and even Bornea.
Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine have used it as a natural sedative, aphrodisiac, digestive aid and pain reliever. Rich in antioxidants and anti inflammatory agents, agarwood oil reduces joint pain, treats acne and other skin irritations and even fights breast cancer. Agarwood oil is used in a boiled concoction to treat rheumatism and other body pain. It has been noted for its use as a complex ointment for smallpox and for various abdominal complaints. When used in aromatherapy, agarwood oil may help to treat anxiety, stress, depression and other nervous system disorders.
Agarwood is one of the most expensive non-timber wood products of the world. It has multidimensional uses in perfume, cosmetics and medicine sector. On the backdrop of huge cost and extreme rarity in the wild, the trees from which agarwood oil is obtained are now cultivated and the resin is actually created by artificial infection and its essential oil is extracted by water distillation. The agarwood oil is gaining widespread popularity on the backdrop of its manifold advantages offered by it.