Kerala: Auction of Marayoor sandalwood fetches record money; one tree alone sold for Rs 1.25 crore

4,226 kg of sandalwood collected from private farmers were also auctioned, fetching more than Rs 3 crore.
Marayoor sandalwood trees (Wikimedia Commons)
Marayoor sandalwood trees (Wikimedia Commons)

IDUKKI: Kerala's famous Marayoor sandalwood trees are known for their unparalleled fragrance, and the state Forest Department has received record sales revenue through its auction this month.

Officials said the department got Rs 37.22 crore in the auction, where big companies and institutions like Karnataka Soaps, Oushadhi, Jaipur CMT and India Limited, KFDC, and Devaswom Boards participated.

The sandalwood collected from private lands and those from forest areas were auctioned.

Forest officials said the amount collected towards the sandalwood from private lands will be handed over to the landowners.

"Just one sandalwood tree on a private land at Marayoor picked up Rs 1.25 crore. Its roots alone were sold for Rs 27.34 lakh," Vinod Kumar, Divisional Forest Officer, Marayoor told PTI.

He said with more private people coming forward for sandalwood farming, it should be noted that 4,226 kg of sandalwood collected from private farmers were also auctioned, fetching more than Rs 3 crore.

"This amount will be handed over to the land owners," Kumar said.

Apart from Marayoor sandalwood, fragrant wood from other divisions of the Kerala Forest Department was also auctioned here.

"9,418 kg of sandalwood from other divisions were auctioned," the DFO added.

This is the second online auction conducted this year, which was carried out for over two days in four sessions.

A total of 68.632 tonne of sandalwood in 15 different classes were auctioned.

Out of this, 30467.25 kg of sandalwood were sold out.

On the first day, Rs 28.96 crore and on the second day, Rs 8.26 crore worth of sandalwood were auctioned.

Karnataka Soaps alone has bought 25.99 tonne of sandalwood at Rs 27 crore.

The auction also included white sandal bark and roots.

White sandal bark fetched a minimum price of Rs 225 per kg.

On the first auction in March this year, sandalwood was auctioned for Rs 31 crore.

Marayoor, located some 40-km from Kerala's scenic Munnar hill station, is the only place in Kerala with a natural growth of sandalwood trees.

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