Ylang-ylang plantation cools,perfumes the Earth
By Yolanda Sotelo
DAGUPAN CITY – A reforestation project in western Pangasinan towns would not only protect the earth from global warming, but would also perfume the air around the plantation.
PERFUME FLOWERS. These ylang-ylang saplings will soon grow tall, spread their foliage, bloom, cool and perfume the air.
Some 120 hectares have been planted to ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata) in two villages in Bugallon town, almost 300 hectares in Aguilar are already planted, while sites for more plantation are being eyed in Mangatarem town, said Pangasinan second district Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil, who initiated the project.
The project is under the National Greening Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources which contracted people’s organizations to do the planting. The POs include the Hacienda Livelihood Association of Bugallon and the Sagip People’s Organization of Aguilar.
But the real purpose of the project is to harvest the yellow flowers to be turned into perfume, Bataoil said. “Our ylang-ylang species is the best in the world and we were once the number one producer of flowers. We hope to regain that industry.”
The project was hatched in January 2015 when Bataoil and his high school classmate Fred Reyes planned to come up with the project to grow the trees that produce the fragrant, yellow flowers from which the essential oil would be extracted and sold to perfume factories in France.
Reyes knew from where he comes from, being the owner of Chemworld Fragrance Factory, Bataoil said.
Since the planting was started only in June last year, the farmers would smell success in the year 2020, as ylang-ylang trees bear flowers after five years. On the 27th of July, Bataoil and Reyes are meeting with Korean suppliers of oil extractors.
Each tree would then produce three kilos of flowers each week. At P60 per kilo, each tree would mean P180 a week or P720 a month for the farmer.
The ylang-ilang oil is highly priced at P50,000 each kilo. It takes 150 kilo of ilang-ilang flowers to produce a single kilo of the fragrant oil. Fifty trees would produce 150 kilos of flowers which, at P60 per kilo, cost P9,000.
That’s a neat income for the farmers. But they need to care for the trees and they could apply only organic fertilizers on them.
The French perfume producers would test the flowers to know if chemical fertilizers are used, and would reject them, Bataoil said.
The trees are planted six meters apart (276 trees are planted in every hectare) to enable the branches and foliage expand. They are also pruned regularly so they won’t grow very tall.
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