Sami-Sabinsa has long had a program of cultivation partnership with farmers under the company’s contract farming fair trade program, so reforestation is a logical extension of Sami-Sabinsa’s sustainability commitment. With a view to ex situ conservation of the highly valued but neglected tree species Pterocarpus marsupium (vijaysar) this project sponsorship will ensure plantation of more than 166,600 trees on 250 acres of forest over the next 10 years.
This is the first attempt to conserve this high value threatened tree species in India, according to Sami-Sabinsa.
Under this initiative, the land will be provided by the forest department of the state of Madhya Pradesh with the Madhya Pradesh Rajya Van Vikas Nigam performing the cultivation and maintaining the plants for a minimum period of five years. After five years, the trees are self-sustaining, according to the firm.
For centuries, Ayurveda has used Pterocarpus marsupium extracts from the Indian Kino tree to control blood sugar. The traditional Ayurvedic method of controlling diabetes involved drinking a water extract of Pterocarpus obtained either by soaking pieces of the wood in water overnight or utilizing a tumbler carved from that wood filled with water.
“As our research on Pterocarpus marsupium extract confirmed traditional usage and we began to anticipate future demand for the extract, we became concerned that demand could quickly decimate available supplies,” said Shaheen Majeed, Sabinsa’s worldwide president. “The cultivation will not only help us have a sustainable supply, but will preserve this traditional plant in India.”