THE CONTEXT: The Tripura government has taken initiatives to promote commercial cultivation of Agar trees.
- It has set a target to achieve Rs 2,000 crore business from the sector in the next three years.
- The state has plans to export 75,000 kg of Agar chips and 1,500 kg of Agar oil in 2021-22 fiscal
- At present, over 50 lakh Agar trees are available in the state.
- The government has launched a draft ”Tripura Agar Wood Policy 2021”, and set a target of doubling the plantation by 2025.
ABOUT AGAR TREE
- The agar wood tree is native to Northeast India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and parts of Southeast Asia
- Agar (Aquilaria malaccensis) is an evergreen tree that grows in Tripura in abundance.
- This species has a huge potential of creating another economic revolution in Tripura after rubber, bamboo and other major forestry crops.
- Low input cost for management and growth and intercropping adaptation could make agar a preferred cash crop.
- Agar wood has been widely used as therapeutic perfumes, traditional medicine, religious purposes and aromatic food ingredient