Kalimantan’s forests are the world’s best producer of agarwood (Aquilaria malaccensis).
Even the best species of North Kalimantan agarwood are worth billions of rupiah per kilogram.
Chairman of the Indonesian Agarwood Association Mashur Elias said there are several types of agarwood in Indonesia, namely those that grow in Kalimantan and Papua, in the West Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi and East Nusa Tenggara regions.
“Of all these large species, the best and most in demand by the market is the gaharu that grows in North Kalimantan,” he said.
Indonesia itself is the largest agarwood exporting country in the world. Export value in 2013 reached 758 tons to the Middle East and China.
Because this plant cannot be harvested regularly, the price of agarwood is very high in the global market.
“This agarwood is used for medicine, for aromatherapy, perfume ingredients, then used for religious events.
The biggest use for therapy, the show, to the Middle East. But for the use of statues, prayer beads, it goes to China.
In 2013 yesterday we spent a quota of 758 tons. It is the largest quota in the world,” continued Mashur Elias.
The best quality agarwood takes a long time, even thousands of years.
This becomes an obstacle for farmers to develop these crops. This is because the community still relies on the best gaharu that grows in the forest.
“There are obstacles faced by agarwood farmers. In nature, gaharu can be available for hundreds of years, if for decades it is not possible. So that the microbes can interact with the gaharu tree to produce good quality.
Meanwhile, if the farmers want cultivation fast. What is clear is that people still take them from the forest,” he continued.