Guwahati/Agartala, Jun 6: The Assam and Tripura governments have taken all out initiatives to promote commercial cultivation of Agar, which is used in world class perfumeries and other industries.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma while reviewing the schemes, projects and works of Industries and Commerce Department on Sunday asked the department to create a demand driven industrial landscape for commercial plantation of Agarwood, Sandal Wood on a mission mode. An official of the Industries and Commerce Department said that the Chief Minister also reiterated the need for a broad roadmap to expedite the commercial cultivation of several trees like Agar Wood, Sandal Wood.
"Taking into consideration the vast stretch of cultivable land available in the districts like Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao, steps should be undertaken for massive plantation of commercially viable plants in the districts," the official said quoting the CM.
Sarma said that this would give a fillip to start up business ventures in the state. He during the review meeting also asked the department to create an industrial ecosystem which is demand driven in the state. Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Samir Kumar Sinha, Principal Secretary to Industries and Commerce Department K.K. Dwivedi among others were present during the meeting.
Tripura government, considering the views of all the stakeholders including Agar cultivators, Agar traders, Agar oil processors, experts has also prepared a draft "Tripura Agarwood Policy 2021". A Forest Department official said that the state government has sought views and suggestions from all concerned on the draft "Tripura Agarwood Policy 2021" by June 15.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who also holds the Industries and Commerce Department, in a tweet said that Agar grows in Tripura in abundance and it has huge potential of creating another "Economic Revolution". "Tripura government is contemplating to bring a policy for promotion of agar wood. I request everyone to send suggestions so that we can make a final policy," he said.
According to a Tripura government document, the state has the potential to do Rs 2,000 crore business from the Agarwood industry within two to three years and around 50,000 families would be benefited from this sector. In the pharmaceutical, perfumery, agarbatti, aromatherapy and tea industry, the Agar is used in various forms. "Aquilaria malaccensis", which is locally known as Xasi or Agar, is used in world class perfumeries as a fixative and is highly prized by European perfumers for mixing their best grade scents.
It acts as a stimulant, cardio tonic and carminative, aphrodisiac, alternative anodyne, anti-diarrheal, anti-asthmatic and astringent.The plantation of Agar tree is seen in Assam's Sibsagar, Sadiya, Nagaon, Darrang, Goalpara and Cachar districts. Apart from Assam and Tripura, the tree is also grown in Khasi Hills and Garo Hills districts of Meghalaya and also found in the forests of Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.In the northeastern region, the Illegal Agar trade is estimated to be the tune of Rs 10,000 crore.