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Kynam as rarest type is exotic species

Kynam, or “kyara” as it’s known in Japan, is an extremely rare type of agarwood used in the perfume and incense industries for its complex and very strong fragrance. It is the most sought-after type of “oud”, the name used in the Arab peninsula to describe the dark resinous wood produced in the heartwood of the aquilaria tree, in specific circumstances. A single gram of kynam can fetch well over $10,000, making it by far the most expensive wooden on the planet, and also one of the most expensive natural materials.

Essentially, kynam is the best kind of agarwood that money can buy, and it’s important that all types of agarwood are relatively expensive. Also known as aloeswood, eaglewood, or simply oud, agarwood has been an important part of Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Arab and Southeast-Asian cultures for thousands of years. It has always been a precious commodity, but demand for it has increased dramatically in recent years, and with it, the price.

Agarwood (also known as aloeswood or eaglewood) normally refers to dense, heavy and fragrant resinous wood which is formed in the trees of Aquilaria, Gonystylus and Gyrinops. According to Swee (2008), the term ‘agarwood’ refers to resin-impregnated pieces of wood that have been at least partially shaved from the non-impregnated woods. 

Agarwood is considered to be the finest natural incense and has been used in many communities to fulfil cultural, religious and medicinal purposes for centuries. It is known by many names; it is called ‘gaharu’ in Indonesia and Malaysia, ‘jin-koh’ in Japan, ‘chen hsiang’ or ‘chenxiang’ in China, ‘agar’ in India (from Sanskrit ‘aguru’), ‘chim-hyuang’ in Korea, ‘kritsana noi’ in Thailand, ‘tram huong’ in Vietnam, ‘bols d′agle’, ‘bols d′aloes’, ‘calambac’ or ‘calambour’ in French and ‘oud’ in the Middle East (Burkill, 1935, Ng et al., 1997, Sidiyasa, 1986). Previously, at least in the Malay language, the agarwood tree was known as ‘karas’ or ‘kekaras’, whereas ‘gaharu’ referred to heavy fragrant wood (Burkill, 1935). However, current practice uses ‘gaharu’ as the generic term to refer to both the tree and its resin, similar to the term ‘agarwood’.

The economic interest in agarwood has always been directed towards its pathological heavy and dense resin-impregnated wood, which is formed in the tissues of the stem in response to injury. Briefly, the resin could develop through pathological, wounding and non-pathological mechanisms (Ng et al., 1997). These mechanisms have been the basis for inoculation or induction techniques to induce resin formation in cultivated agarwood trees, where the techniques often involve physical penetration into the trunk (wounding), insertion of a microbial (mainly fungal) concoction (pathology) and response of the tree towards the administered stress (non-pathological). A method of producing agarwood resin by creating an artificial wound in the xylem of agarwood trees have been patented (Blanchette and van Beek, 2005). 

The fragrant wood has many ties with cultures around the world, such as the Arabian, Chinese and Japanese cultures, and is also associated with religious history, rituals and ceremonies in Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam (Barden et al., 2000). Nevertheless, other materials from the agarwood plant have also found prominent uses in the traditional medicine practices of the Southeast Asian communities, such as Chinese, Tibetan, Unani and Ayurvedic medicines (Barden et al., 2000, Blanchette and van Beek, 2005). This ethnopharmacological evidence, together with the current trends in bioprospecting, have spurred the interest of the scientific community to investigate claims using modern tools. 

The diminishing number of these trees in the wild due to indiscriminate felling in search of the resin has led to conservation actions by listing the genus Aquilaria in Appendix II of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) (UNEP-WCMC (Comps.), 2014). The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species has listed Aquilaria crassna as critically endangered, and Aquilaria malaccensis and Aquilaria sinensis are listed as vulnerable (Asian Regional Workshop (Asian Regional Workshop Conservation and Sustainable Management of Trees, 1996)). In response to this situation, sustainable agarwood planting and management with artificial induction of agarwood resin formation have been implemented. This has led to a ready supply of different parts of the agarwood plant, which provides opportunities for the development of a range of value added products.

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Black Market ng Agarwood


A black market is an economic activity that takes place outside government-sanctioned channels. Illegal market transactions usually occur “under the table” to let participants avoid government price controls or taxes. The goods and services offered in a black market can be illegal, meaning their purchase and sale are prohibited by law, or they can be legal but transacted to avoid taxes.

Illegal markets are also known as shadow markets or underground markets.

Shadow markets can have a number of negative consequences for the economy. They can reduce tax revenue, distort the market, and create opportunities for crime. It pushes out legitimate business people who cannot compete with the low prices provided by black market vendors.

Sa akin, black market is a form of economic sabotage. Na dapat s mas mataas na presyo maibenta ang produkto ay itinutulak ang produkto ng wala pa sa kalahati man lang ang presyo. Why? Kinuha lang nila sa gubat through Illegal harvest.