|The main product of the aquilaria crassna tree is agarwood, a resinous product traditionally used as incense and medicine. Its distilled pure resin is used in perfume. — Photo dantri.com.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — The Viet Nam Agarwood Association should work with agencies to seek the most effective method to produce agarwood, delegates said at the association's second congress held in HCM City last Saturday.
The main product of the aquilaria crassna tree is agarwood, a resinous product traditionally used as incense and medicine. Its distilled pure resin is used in perfume.
Hoang Canh, chairman of Vina Hoang Gia Co Ltd, said the biggest challenge facing the industry was finding the most effective method to produce agarwood.
According to delegates, cultivating aquilaria crassna trees can generate good profits for farmers but can also leave them empty-handed if they apply improper technology or low quality chemicals to produce the wood.
Many methods and chemicals are used to make agarwood from the aquilaria crassna tree, but many of them are ineffective as the yield can be low and they can even kill the tree.
Monk Thich Chieu Phap, head of Thanh Tam Temple and chief secretary of the executive board in Binh Phuoc Province, said he had been researching methods for making agarwood from the aquilaria crassna tree for seven years.
He suffered losses as many trees died due to water shortage and disease. Many of the trees died after chemicals were injected into them.
In addition, the consumption market for agarwood is unstable, causing insecurities among farmers, he said.
He said he expected the association in the next term (2015-20) to focus more on finding markets for Vietnamese agarwood.
Tran Hop, chairman of the VAA, said in its plan for the next term that the association would strengthen co-operation with foreign partners as well as local scientists to choose the best seedlings and methods to make the fragrant wood.
It plans to petition the Government to offer support policies for agarwood producers and traders, such as preferential loans, land rental and tariff reductions.
The association will also set up an e-commerce portal to promote the Viet Nam agarwood industry, he said.
Like other countries, Vietnamese natural agarwood sources are nearly exhausted, so famers have planted agar trees to create artificial agarwood.
About 20,000ha of aquilaria crassna trees were planted in the past 10 years in 24 provinces and cities, the association said. — VNS