KUWAIT CITY, April 6, (KUNA): The Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) asserted Wednesday its keenness on cultivation of new species of trees, such as the Arjun, that bear the local environmental conditions. PAAAFR “is currently conducting a series of experiments to identify (new) plants that can be grown in Kuwait,” Director of agricultural guidance Ghanim Al- Sanad told KUNA adding that some were proven successful after being planted in the local environment, despite Kuwait’s harsh and dry climate during the summer.
He explained PAAAFR cultivated the Arjun tree which can withstand the harsh conditions during the summer as well as low temperatures during the winter.
In previous years, PAAAFR through its Afforestation and Rangelands Management Department, has executed numerous tree-planting projects, in accordance with the greening plans set forth by the State of Kuwait. He said the original home of the Arjun tree is the Indian sub-continent.
It has been linked to the ancient Indian heritage (Ayurveda physicians) and used in folk medicine and also has cultural value in the Asian nation.
The Arjun is usually found growing on river banks or near dry river beds in Bangladesh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and south and central India. The Arjun is about 20-25 metres tall; usually has a buttressed trunk, and forms a wide canopy at the crown, from which branches drop downwards.
It has oblong, conical leaves which are green on the top and brown below; smooth, grey bark; it has pale yellow flowers which appear between March and June; its glabrous, 2.5 to 5 cm fibrous woody fruit, divided into five wings, appears between September and November.
The Arjun is one of the species leaves of which are fed on by the Antheraea paphia moth which produces the tassar silk, a wild silk of commercial importance, PAAAFR offi cial said. Al-Sanad said that Arjuna tree has medical benefits as it trunk contains calcium and magnesium salts and Algelokosadat. “Its content of antioxidants are equivalent to what is found in some vitamins and the leaves juice is used as a cure beverage for many diseases”. It also helps to lower blood pressure and expansion of the arteries and strengthen the heart muscle and also reduces cholesterol in the blood and in addition its extracts are used in other therapeutic purposes, PAAAFR offi cial said