Scarce & Highly-Prized Natural Resource
The high worldwide demand for agarwood has caused its chief producers – the trees of the Aquilaria and Gyrinops genus – to become a threatened species. Over the past decades, over-harvesting has caused Aquilaria and Gyrinops trees to be uprooted at extremely fast-paced rates, rates much quicker than are ideal to secure the long-term sustainability of these species and the continual supply of agarwood. The limited supply of agarwood is further emphasized by the added fact that not all Aquliaria and Gyrinops trees produce resin (there are more than 20 different species of the Aquilaria which are known to produce resin), and even within these agarwood-producing species, not all trees exhibit natural infections and produce the highly-prized resin which we know and love.
As the supply of naturally infected agarwood is limited, the increasingly high demand for this prized natural resource has been struggled to be met. To this end, modern agricultural science has caught up with the high-paced demand for agarwood, and we see today many agarwood trees being cultivated in large-scale agarwood plantations. Many different treatments and inoculation methods have been researched and practised to induce the formation of agarwood in the healthy trees of these plantations which do not exhibit natural infections, such as creating an artificial wound in the tree and injecting the wound with various organic or chemical compounds to initiate the fungal infection. As a result, some agarwood trees have had their infections aided through science and their resin growth much facilitated through these artificial inoculation methods.
Unfortunately, prior to the strict control of agarwood harvesting years ago, random logging has already destroyed many natural habitats of agarwood trees. Some agarwood harvesters were prudent enough to only cut the infected parts of the agarwood tree, keeping the remainder of the tree intact with hopes that the tree would produce more of its precious resin in future. However, other novice agarwood hunters looking for a ‘quick buck’ had resorted to the felling of Aquilaria trees at random in the hopes of chancing upon the prized resinous agarwood heartwood. Such action was uncalled for which led to the detriment of the long term sustainable supply of agarwood, much less the sustainability of our precious natural rainforests.
At Sultanul Oud, we ensure that our exhaustive source of agarwood only comes from native farmers - Oud masters who inherited family-owned plantations containing precious agarwood which had been passed down from generation to generation, registered farms and nursery owners, and experienced licensed harvesters with sufficient knowledge of botany to ensure that there is no unnecessary felling of trees and wastage of this precious natural resource.
Through agarwood, God has given us a jewel of the rainforest, and it is only right that we respect it and not take this precious gift for granted.