Fragrant Trees

Fragrant Trees

11 July, 2016
Argarwood Facility and Plantation
Asia Plantation Capital's growth in Malasyia's agarwood industry

Asia Plantation Capital (APC) is a company that offers unique sustainable investments in the responsible agriculture of the Agarwood tree, which produces the fragrant, and highly vaulable, Having successfully planted, harvested, and paid out investors from numerous plantations in Thailand, it is now making steps towards expansion in Malaysia. Its Malysian agarwood distillery and research centre recently celebrated its official opening ceremony.
The 44,000 sqft centre incorporates an Oud oil distillery, a wood chip processing centre, a fragrance stick factory and a laboratory for perfumes and essential oils, among other things. The state-of-the-art facility uses efficient, sustainable energy systems throughout, incorporating new heat exchange distillation units with purified water and a clean energy solar power system.
The facility develops upon APC’s agarwood plantations in Batu Pahat, Malaysia, which the group acquired agricultural land for in 2015 (APC always  purchases alexisting agricultural land, rather than destroying forests or valubale ecological areas). The facility has already “welcomed a significant number of visitors and clients - some of whom are among the most influential investment and fund managers in the world”, as said by Steve Watts, APC's Chief Executive Officer, Asia Pacific.
Agarwood has had an unfortunate background in Malaysia. Its high demand and value has led to widespread illegal logging. The United Nations Wildlife Crime report cited Malaysia as being a major source of illegal shipments of agarwood, with as much as seven metric tons being seized from 2005-2014.  By contrast, APC is committed to sustainable plantation systems that offer commercial, environmental and community benefits.
Watts notes that APC's proven methods “are not only being utilised by the group to widen its market share, but are also being offered to smaller growers and farmers across Asia, to assist them in the cultivation and processing of agarwood to create income. This will, in turn, help boost rural economies and also underpin APC's future supply requirements... as well as supplying systems and knowledge."
Malaysia's Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Dr Abu Bakar bin Mohamad Diah applauds APC's choice of Malaysia for expansion, noting that the facility is able to “increase investment into the country and provide job opportunities for Malaysians, but also encourage and stimulate progress in science, technology, research and development.”  
The deputy minister has also indicated Malaysia's readiness to help fund APC's research and development on uses of agarwood in cancer treatment. The R&D on the anti-cancer programme may receive up to RM3 million through MOSTI's TechnoFund.

By: Melory So


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