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DENR eyes farming of ‘wood of the gods’ to avert possible extinction of local species

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is eyeing to promote backyard farming of agarwood, also known as the “wood of the gods,” as a conservation measure and to save the species from rampant harvesting in the wild.

To help save the species from extinction, DENR Assistant Secretary Ricardo Calderon, concurrent director of the DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) told the BusinessMirror they are looking at allowing its propagation through backyard farming.

“We are looking at promoting farming of agarwood to save the species,” Calderon said.

The strategy is used in saving wild plant species with high commercial value, like orchids. This is the same principle behind the wildlife farming now being promoted for critically endangered species.

In the Philippines, the DENR promotes crocodile farming for their skin, meat and other byproducts, to help save the saltwater reptile species from extinction.

“Just like crocodile farming, we are looking at farming agarwood. [DENR] Secretary [Roy A.] Cimatu is open to this idea,” Calderon said, adding that a draft administrative order will allow interested parties to venture into agarwood farming in the future once the policy is put in place.

Calderon, a forestry expert said, science and technology will be a big factor in making agarwood farming work.

He said friendly bacteria and virus applied to a fissure or wound it obtains in the wild can be imitated, hence, producing the same aromatic scent it exudes that make it very much in demand.

“We are waiting for the secretary’s approval for this,” he said.

Authorities have been successful in intercepting shipments of agarwood in the past several months. However, this does not effectively prevent the species’ possible extinction.

By allowing agarwood farming, Calderon said there will be a legal source of the wood, hence, buyers, as well as sellers, would not have to risk being caught for involvement in the illegal wildlife trade.

Until the supply for agarwood becomes readily available and accessible from backyard agarwood farms, or even plantation, Calderon said there will always be enterprising middlemen who will look for supply and there will be enterprising Filipinos who will go to the forest to harvest agarwood hoping to cash in from the venture.

Just recently, the Bureau of Customs confiscated 73 kilos of agarwood, with an estimated total value of P62 million at the Port of Davao on December 24.

The seized agarwood is scheduled to be flown to Vietnam via the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.

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10 comments

  1. Gusto ko o advice ko lang na dapat yong gobyerno natin ay magput up po ng planta ng pagproseso ng Agarwood dito sa pilinas para hindi na ibinta sa ibang bansa yong pinaka maganda na variety ng agarwoid sa pilipinas ay galing po ng Leyte at doon lang totobo ang viriety na yan sa Abuyog, Silago, Hinunangan

  2. Tama. pag hinuhuli Lang ang mga hunter na mahihirap para Maiwasan Ang pagka ubos Ng agarwood, mas lalong ma uubos kasi hindi Hindi magpapahuli Ang ang mga hunter, seller at buyer. May mahuli man bihira lang.Ang magandang idea ay tulongan mag reimplant ang mga Filipino at gawing legal at supportahan Ng gobyerno Ng mapaayos Ang industring Ito. Maging SA plantation at production, Kung tulongan Ng gobyerno Ang industring Ito lalago at yayaman Ang Bansa at mabawasan Ang kahirapan Ng mamamayang Filipino. Gawan Ng Batas at eayos ang production SA legal na paraan. If every Family will plant agarwood, has a big possibility na Hindi mauubos Ang agarwood kundi aahon pa ang mga mahihirap. Matulongan pa ang mga mahihirap, mailigtas pa ang pagka ubos ng agarwood. SA hirap ng panahon ngayon, hindi takot ang tao mahuli at kung mahuli man pero wala, ubos na ang mga naturang tree. Ang pang huhuli ay tama naman ayos sa batas natin pero maliit Lang na porsyento na ma e salba ang pagkaubos. Plantation and replanting ang Solution.The Government will provide planting materials the high quality of Agarwood for the best products.
    GOD BLESS….

  3. At last, naisakilos din ni Asec cum BMB Director Ric Calderon ang matagal ko nang binanggit at ikinulit sa kanya na bigyang puwang ang Agarwood sa e-NGP at ng ito’y mapalago at sa bandang huli ay magiging source of income ng ating mamamayang Pilipino. My salutations Sir Ric!!! Mabuhay!!!

  4. maari po bang kami at maabisuhan Kung sakaling natuloy Ang inyong proyekto hingil SA pagtatanim Ng agar. kami po at interesado sampu Ng asking kaibigan na merong lupain po dto SA pooc silang cavite. kami po at UMaAsAng masupportahan Ang proyektong ito Ng DENR. MAS MABUTING IT’ANIN ANG GANITONG URI NG PUNO UP ANG MAPAKINABANGAN DIN NG MGA SUSUNOD NA HENERASYON NG POOC SILANG CAVITE.

  5. sana maging available at affordable ang planting materials sa maraming interesado at d limited sa mga malalaking may pera para maraming makinabang. mangyaring maabisuhan lhat ng gustong magpropagate nito…tga sarangani province and interested.

  6. Saan po pwede bumili ng binhi ng Agar? May kapatid po ako may taniman sa pangasinan. Baka pwede po dun magtanim din if available na po ang seedling.

  7. Saan po pwede bumili ng binhi? Sa pangasinan po kasi may taniman dun brother ko. Baka pwede po dun magtanim nyan. Kailan at saan pwede bumili ng binhi po?

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