The Aquillaria malaccensis (known as agar) produces agarwood which is used in perfumes, incense and medicines, and thus, can be extremely valuable. Excessive harvesting of agarwood has made this species threatened. Considering its conservation value and economic benefit PUTZ AGARWOD FARM has started agarwood plantation at Nalihawan, Hamtic, Antique from January, 2019.
At Hacienda Aquilaria, an agarwood plantation of about 20 hectares has been created, where 30,000 agar seedlings have been planted between August and October 2019. The survival rate of young seedlings was around 95%, which can be considered impressive. The habitat provided by the environment in the Hacienda Aquilaria, along with the microclimatic and soil condition in that area is favourable for growing agar plants.
Initially, Putz Agarwood Farm plans to plant 10 hectares of land with agar plant, after which agarwood harvesting would take place after 10 years. Assuming 90% survival rate and 2 kg premium quality agarwood production per plant the estimated investment related to plantation would be Php. 145,497,198 and total return would be Php. 60,907,155,348 with the rate of return 41,861%. However, this high rate of return is an underestimate given the environmental benefits of this plantation would generate. The establishment of this plantation would also be significant in terms of the environmental conservation of this endangered species, as well as provide a carbon sink to reduce green house gases.
Furthermore, there are potential opportunities that would arise in the future for improving the livelihoods of poor people in the region by providing income generating means.