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   Gaharu News Paulus propose Gaharu tree cultivation

A government backbencher has proposed on the cultivation of the agar wood which is locally known as karas or gaharu commercially.

Paulus Palu Gumbang (BN-Batu Danau) suggested that the government put interest on the cultivation of gaharu when debating the Head of State’s address at Dewan Undangan Negeri last night.

Gaharu tree or agar wood or aloes wood found abundantly in the forest of Sarawak, was collected or harvested by the nomadic Penan for sale.

Paulus pointed out that if left unchecked, wild gaharu especially the better-graded ones, could diminish from the forests in the next 10 years due to over harvesting. A kilogram quality gaharu can fetched as high as RM30,000 in the global market and the price are expected to rise due to the increased demand in the international market.

He added that the world’s gaharu production today is able to meet only 32% of the global demand, posing a huge potential for top exporters like Malaysia to cash in on the rewarding business.

By exporting some 200,000 kg of wild gaharu a year to places like the Middle East, Singapore, Taiwan and France, Malaysia can rake in a whopping RM3 billion. The assemblyman pointed out that the tree has big potentials and urged the government to look into the viability as well as the possibility of encouraging the rural population especially those with idle land to plant the trees.

A special scheme could be mooted by giving certain incentives or subsidy similar to that which was done to rubber planting scheme. This scheme could be one of the solution to eradicate poverty in the rurual areas.

Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahan and Sabah has long embarked on the planting of this “black gold”.