The Walla Patta stink

  Published : 12:00 am  June 4, 2013  |  9,641 views  |  42 comments  |  Print This Post   |  E-mail to friend
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In Sri Lanka, the stink of corruption emanates from the most scented of places. Walla Patta, or Gyrinops Walla as it is scientifically known, is an indigenous herb that is used to produce some of the finest perfumes in the world. Since it is exclusive to the country, trade in this precious plant is prohibited.However, this did not stop an attempt to smuggle over 13, 000 kilograms worth over Rs. 200 million from the country in what is clearly a well-organised operation.

According to reports that made front page news, on 20 May Police Special Task Force (STF) personnel recovered 13,499 kilograms of Walla Patta herb valued at around Rs. 200 million to be smuggled out of the country and arrested six suspects including two Indian nationals during a raid in Kolonnawa. France was suspected to be the destination for the massive consignment.

The arrests were made in the night and the suspects were handed over to Wellampitiya Police for legal action.
Three Bangladeshi nationals were arrested in Ratnapura in February for the possession around six kilograms and 750 milligrams of the Walla Patta plant. They were attempting to export it to Saudi Arabia, giving an idea of how widespread the demand for the plant is.
What is interesting though is that the endemic plant, which is traditionally used for medicinal purposes, when injured produces a resinous substance called agarwood, which fetches a high price internationally. It is reported that a single kilo of agarwood can fetch anywhere from US$ 10- 850 depending on its quality.  

However, for as large a consignment as was apprehended, around 400 Walla Patta trees had to be kept alive but injured for an extended period of time, which would have been an onerous task. This clearly shows that the extraction of agarwood, despite being illegal, was being carried out in industrial proportions and given the fact that it was kept hidden for such a long period of time also shows high level complicity in the smuggling ring.
Environment Minister Susil Premajayantha was quick to profess his innocence and insist that they had no knowledge of the Walla Patta farming until it was reported in the media. Despite admitting that the racket was being conducted for a long time, he nonetheless had no plans for effective monitoring. In addition, even though six suspects were arrested there were no reports of the kingpin of the ring being brought to book.
It is clear that traditional conservation policies are not going to save this precious plant. Instead the Government needs to formulate policies that allow commercial export of Walla Patta, thus ensuring that the endemic plant will be proliferated. Regulation of the product will reduce the black market and promote sustainable trade and farming practices that actually benefit the public rather than allowing well-connected thieves to corner the profit.    
Perhaps with this view, under a public private partnership program of the National Research Council (NRC) of Sri Lanka, it has awarded Rs.11.6 million Dr. Upul Subasinghe for conducting further research on Walla Patta. Sadaharitha Plantations Ltd. jointly funds this three year research program with the NRC.

In December, there were similar reports that the Government had plans to commercialise production of the plant. However, this needs to develop in tandem with greater adherence to law and order, which is a lost hope in this land.  


42 Responses to “The Walla Patta stink”

  1. gune on June 5th, 2013 10:17 am

    sir i want to know more about walla patta,,,please contact me..I have a lot trees…

  2. agarwood on June 19th, 2013 8:06 pm

    send me a e-mail. I will call you!

  3. nihal on June 19th, 2013 9:03 pm

    price of walla patta

  4. Ashani on June 21st, 2013 11:12 am

    i want to know more about this tree & want to plant this can i plant these trees & where can i get these plants? plz e-mail me.

  5. on July 1st, 2013 8:30 pm

    walla patta “agar wood” plants here!

  6. jagath on July 7th, 2013 1:37 pm

    Dear sir, I have lot of walla patta trees pls cotact me…..

  7. ranjan on July 11th, 2013 6:48 pm

    i want to know more about.WALLA PATTA..pls e mail me…

  8. prasad on July 12th, 2013 2:17 pm

    respectable sir i need to plant to grow my garden how can i by them and

    jagath pls give me a 1 plant

  9. DSR Fernando on July 13th, 2013 10:19 am

    How to find the market and sell . We can cultivate thees trees.

  10. Prasad on July 16th, 2013 2:31 pm

    sir, i want to know more about walla patta tree and how can i cultivate thees trees.

  11. shank on July 17th, 2013 2:50 pm

    Dear Sir,
    i would like to know more about agarwoood cultivation.
    please send a contact number to get more.
    what is the differant between wallapatta & agarwood

  12. wallapatta on July 19th, 2013 12:23 pm

    wallapatta is srilankan but agar is malaysian, but there are a number of agar types. Acquilaria as well as Gyrinopsis produces agarwood resins, wrth high. But almost a large extent is grown in malaysia and thailand to sustain the demand.

    So dont try to duplicate it here. You can only get the premium for the wild collections. While you grown destroying tea and cinnamon, the market will be flooded as the sandal market flooded.

    Contact through for your comments.


  13. Mihira on July 25th, 2013 11:38 am

    I need to know about ” Walla Patta ” plantation

  14. athauda on July 29th, 2013 11:57 am

    i need to know how to sell this tree

  15. Kasun Perera on August 20th, 2013 7:19 pm

    We have Gyrinops Walla trees. But don’t know how to sale. is there is possible way. Contact me with details.

  16. Vijith Kandage on August 28th, 2013 3:52 pm

    Dear Sir

    It is great to know that your achievement and research on this valuable tree. Hope it would opening a door to international market and helps to establish self employment in the county. Please suggest how to get government approval to grow this plant and find out a market and it would be great information to everybody.

  17. udaya on September 9th, 2013 3:34 pm

    how can i find the buyers for walla patta?

  18. Hasitha De Alwis on September 16th, 2013 11:32 am

    I need to know more about this plants and how to grow this and to find the market for this. And also I need your contacts.

  19. sandun on September 21st, 2013 10:44 am

    dear sir i want to know about this valuable tree and want to know is there any buyers looking for this trees?..

  20. erandu on September 30th, 2013 10:20 am

    i am living in korea i want to invest to wella patta and i want to know more about this tree & want to plant this can i plant these trees & where can i get these plants? plz contact to e-mail me. thanks

  21. Dissanayake on October 1st, 2013 7:09 pm

    Dear Sir, I have some amount of this product obtained from walla patta trees. I want to sale it. Please contact me on

  22. Jabeer on October 7th, 2013 1:15 pm

    I have a inquiry to purchase agarwoood from china. i would like to know how to export legally from Sri-Lanka. Already lot of other countries are exporting and made money. Sri-Lanka is slow, can the proffesor Samantha Fernando or any interested party contact me to this business and make some money and help the Sri-Lanka economy

  23. tony on October 11th, 2013 3:39 pm

    I too intersted in cultivating and producing this resin/agarwood from Walla patta, please let me know where to contact and get the advice.

  24. Ravindra on October 16th, 2013 10:12 pm

    I have lot of tree.Ifany one want to buy please contact me.

  25. Duminda on October 21st, 2013 1:42 pm

    I want to know how contact good buyer for wallapatta or agarwood wild treers and the rate.

  26. Izwan on October 25th, 2013 10:36 pm

    Where can we find out these seeds,and what are the landscapes that we can cultivate that…we need seeds or plants

  27. Gamage on October 26th, 2013 7:13 am

    I have 3 walla patta to sele it..

  28. pasindu on November 17th, 2013 2:37 pm

    how can i identify that tree? is there any stink? how can i make sure? what are the features ?

  29. Suresh on November 18th, 2013 11:43 am

    Dear sir, I have lot of walla patta trees pls cotact me…..

  30. Suresh on November 18th, 2013 11:53 am

    i want to know more about this tree & want to plant this can i plant these trees & where can i get these plants? plz e-mail me.

  31. kasun on November 22nd, 2013 12:27 am

    dear sir…….

    today i got news about WALLA PATTA… because there is a big tree..age more than 30 my one of land. as i think that tree’s perimeter more than 4 feet.. today one of person has come to my home & by cheating my old mother he has cut this tree..(he has told to my mother, may i cut that tree for the treatment of cancer patient. ) so mother let him to cut with out any money…. ..but he couldn’t cut the tree totally meanwhile my brother interfere to this….after that he has known that is WALLA PATTA…then he punished to that guy today & let that man to go.
    i’m working in Saudi Arabia as an engineer…. next year ill return back to sri lanka.
    i like to get more information regarding WALLA PATTAA……

    please contact me….00966531904724


  32. kasun on December 8th, 2013 9:51 am

    i want to know more information about walla patta

  33. ruwan on December 21st, 2013 9:46 am

    i have black colour walla patta trees.i want to know more details about walla patta.
    contact with your mobile no.

  34. kalum on December 22nd, 2013 2:29 pm

    dear sir.
    i have very very old(more than 40 years)walla patta trees. how can i sale this pls send me a email

  35. Fazal on December 23rd, 2013 1:13 pm

    How can i get a walla patta tree for growing

  36. Nazuddin on February 2nd, 2014 3:56 pm

    I am indian and doing this business from past .14 years.

  37. U.J Prashad Srilal on February 5th, 2014 11:43 am

    Dear Sir,

    I am interested in joining with this business. I have lands and I would like start cultivating this tree.

    Please be kind enough to send me more details.

    Thank You.

  38. vijitha kumara on February 20th, 2014 8:33 pm

    dear sir,
    I have lands and I would like start cultivating this tree

  39. sam on March 7th, 2014 10:46 am

    I have some wild natural wallapatta .

  40. Ahmed on March 16th, 2014 2:20 am

    I want to buy Walla Patta. If any serious seller are interested, Please email me on

  41. sanju on August 25th, 2014 11:01 am

    sir i want to know more about walla patta,,,please contact me..I have a lot trees. contact immediately. b’cos now 02 no trees missing.

  42. achini on November 11th, 2014 3:17 pm

    i need details about walla patta.because i’m goin to do an project about that subject

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