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Resin Brings Income for Rural People

Safiya Charles / Khmer Times Share:

A project funded by USAID’s Supporting Forest and Biodiversity initiative is helping local communities relying on forests as their means to earn a living by tapping into an alternate source of income.
 
Implemented by non-profit organization Winrock International, the project helps forest-dependent communities earn sustainable incomes by extracting liquid and solid resin from Chheuteal Toek and Trach trees in Kampong Thom, Preah Vihear and Stung Treng provinces.
 
The project has supported communities in the development and commercial production of the valuable raw material.
 
The World Wildlife Fund counts resin among the most important non-timber forest products collected by rural communities in Cambodia. The natural substance is used in the manufacturing of varnish and inexpensive soap, leather-making and sealing-wax as well as for caulking boats.
 
Liquid resin is extracted from dipterocarp trees by utilizing a “tapping” method. A small cut is made in the tree’s side and an object, such as a tree branch, is set aflame and inserted to induce resin flow. The liquid resin produced can be sold for 3,000 riel per liter to traders who process and filter out its impurities.
 
These impurities, considered a waste product, are used by local villagers to make resin torches. The simple torches provide light after nightfall and are used around the home as well as for cooking food. One kilogram of resin waste can produce three to four sticks of resin depending on the length and size, and are sold for 2,000 riel.
 
According to Winrock International, the commercial production of resin in local communities has led to increased sales and higher incomes for forest community members, an achievement in the ongoing effort to protect the country’s vulnerable forests and preserve the traditions and livelihoods of the communities who have relied on their sustenance for generations.

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