Agarwood plantations go beyond providing a solution to prevent loss of agarwood tree species in our forest. They can also provide sustainable financial incentives and livelihoods for local communities, while restoring and conserving ecosystems.
I enumerated five key factors below that we must be overcome to develop sustainable agarwood production:
- Plantation Management
- Artificial inducement: Difficulties accessing technologies and inoculant formulae have discouraged farmers from participating in planting agarwood. Top quality agarwood requires long fungi attack and tree defense mechanism processes as they occur in nature. Even though revenues from agarwood can range from millions to hundreds of millions of pesos during harvest seasons, the long waits involved discourage farmers from developing agarwood.
- Initial investment for inoculation: Significant investment and expenditure is necessary for inoculation to produce agarwood resin effectively. Inoculation costs are affected by the variety of formulae, technologies, application methods and doses. Any miscalculations might result in ineffective inoculation and incur losses to the farmers.
- Processing facilities: Affordable technologies are needed for processing agarwood into more competitive products, such as essential oil.
- Market access: To help farmers, particularly small farmers market their products and that will promote sustainable agarwood production.