From the depths of the jungle, long hidden from human eyes, the Agarwood tree has now become a vital cash crop and important part of Thailand’s agricultural economy.
For over 35 years, Dam Phuttakesorn, Trat province native, has been involved with the agarwood industry. Owner of a 400 acre plantation with over 100,000 agarwood trees, he talks about his long history in the family’s agarwood business
“Agarwood was originally a forest tree wild. People used to sneak into the jungle to cut them down and sell them illegally, with no thought of replanting or anything. I started thinking that, if it keeps going like this, it won’t be long before the tree is gone forever. So I started to test planting the tree myself, with the help and cooperation of various agencies. We pushed agarwood and agarwood products so people started recognizing and knowing them, and now they’ve become one of the major products of Trat economy.”
In the past agarwood trees were just an illegal forest product, smuggled out from the jungle for sale and eventually, into extinction. But when state enterprises and government agencies reached out, local farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs like Khun Dam were willing and ready to receive their assistance to help bring back agarwood from the brink of disappearing. Now agarwood is on the comeback trail as a sustainable source of community income for the people of Bo Rai district, Trat province.
Mr. Dam cultivates heirloom species of agarwood from the local region in the area along the Thai-Cambodian border. Locals call it “Cambodia Wood.” He carefully controls the planting and cultivation processes to make sure no chemicals are used at any step in the growth and production cycles, to ensure the long-term viability and safety of both the trees and agarwood tree products.
Beyond planting and cultivating the trees, Khun Dam also built his own factory to process and create value-added products from the raw materials of the agarwood tree a fully integrated business meeting international standards. D.D. Oud Oil’s final product, cold-distilled from the wood of the agarwood tree and called by any of a variety of names agarwood oil, oud oil, dehn oil possesses only the finest unique aroma and highest quality guaranteed by the D.D. Oud Oil brand.