The Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) is experimenting with different varieties of trees to find those suitable for Kuwait’s harsh local climate.
PAAAFR “is currently conducting a series of experiments to identify (new) plants that can be grown in Kuwait,” Director of agricultural guidance Ghanem Al-Sanad said adding that some were proven successful after being planted in the local environment, despite Kuwait’s arid climate and extremely hot summer temperatures.
Sanad explained that 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, the Forestation and Rangelands Management Department at PAAAFR has executed numerous treeplanting projects, in accordance with the greening plans set forth by the State of Kuwait.
The arjun tree comes from the Indian sub-continent and has been linked to the ancient Indian heritage (ayurveda) 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 meters 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. Sanad said that arjun tree has medical benefits as its 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.”