Agarwood commands high prices on the world market. Only by felling trees and extracting the valuable parts can agarwood be harvested in commercially attractive quantities. This has resulted in the rapid demise of naturally-growing Aquilaria in the forests of South and Southeast Asia.
“Creating Agarwood Supplies in Viet Nam” is a TRP initiated and managed project. The project will demonstrate a durable and commercially viable solution to this problem, and provide the Dean of Agricultural Sciences at An Giang University, a project farmer, and project coordinator with Aquilaria crassna seedlings in a nursery development model for other natural forest products. This TRP project will translate applied research into sustained economic development and tropical forest conservation. In the past seven years of research, TRP has shown:
1. That Aquilaria plantations can be successfully developed as an agro-forestry enterprise
2. That Aquilaria can be artificially induced to yield the extremely valuable commercial product known as agarwood
3. That agarwood production can successfully be induced in plantation-grown trees. Using technology developed in a cooperative research project with Professor Robert Blanchette at the University of Minnesota (http://www.plpa.agri.umn.edu/faculty/blanchette.html), Aquilaria trees can be induced to produce copious amounts of resin in young trees after only a few years.
4. That there is a sure long-term market for a wide range of agarwood products, with stable or rising demand and a rapidly diminishing supply scenario
5. That the development of agarwood plantations is an ideal way of generating income and employment for low-income families living in and around project areas.