GAHARU - INDONESIA (AGARWOOD)

Agarwood or gharuwood is a fragrant dark resinous wood used in incense, perfume, and small carvings. It is formed in the heartwood of aquilaria trees when they become infected with a type of mould (Phialophora parasitica). Prior to infection, the heartwood is odourless, relatively light and pale coloured; however, as the infection progresses, the tree produces a dark aromatic resin, called aloes or agar which results in a very dense, dark, resin embedded heartwood. 

Gaharu (agarwood) is one of the priority of NTFP set by the government of the republic of Indonesia. Kalimantan (Borneo) has huge potential in gaharu (agarwood) production.

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CHALLENGES

Gaharu (agarwood) local communities in Kalimantan have failed in producing gaharu respecting the standards for export.

Problems:

1. There is no suitable inoculum (mould) for gaharu cultivation

2. Traditional methods in inoculum injection are inefficient

3. Traditional methods in monitoring of gaharu cultivation are unreliable and destructive

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OPPORTUNITIES

We propose to develop locally relevant methods for integrated remote-sensing and robotic information systems for non timber resources such as gaharu. This project would combine research of inoculum for gaharu cultivation and research and development of smart robotic system for inoculum injection and gaharu real-time tele-monitoring system.