‘Certificate of origin’ tag sought for Omani luban

By Kaushalendra Singh — SALALAH: Dec 27: At a time when focus has been shifted to frankincense and frankincense research, Dr Mohsin Musallam al Amri, one of the original researchers of Omani olibanum, put emphasis on his stand of branding Omani frankincense to keep intact its genuineness.
In an interview with Observer, Dr Mohsin expressed happiness over of talk on frankincense these days and researches being conducted by various scholars.
He admitted that his long years of efforts to create awareness among the common people are bearing fruits, “but still needs to percolate down to the masses.”
He reiterated on ‘certificate of origin’ tag for Omani frankincense to take the standardisation steps further and make the product globally acceptable.“We should look at it from the perspective of global competition and ensure that it sells like a ‘unique product of Oman’ in the international market.”

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Dr Mohsin Musallam al Amri

“By standardisation I mean setting up of global standards for the branding of frankincense.
This will give Omani frankincense an edge over others as the quality here is very high. What is happening today is entirely different.
All sorts of frankincense are being sold in the market in the name of Omani frankincense and our product sometimes is not getting right recognition,” he said.
He suggested ways to save Omani olibanum’s identity and purity.
The researcher has dedicated himself to the cause of frankincense as a volunteer researcher.
He appreciated Environment Society of Oman (ESO) for taking up the cause of this rare tree.
“The cause is very close to my heart.
I have worked hard to understand the value of the product for which Oman was known as ‘Land of Frankincense’ for centuries among traders around the world.
Time passed and people put it in the back burner.
It is gaining importance again and I suggest having a dedicated body to deal with issues related to frankincense.”
He called for setting up of a global benchmark for Omani frankincense.“This will give Omani frankincense an edge over others as the quality here is very high.
What is happening today is entirely different.
All sorts of frankincense are being sold in the market in the name of Omani frankincense and our product sometimes is not getting right recognition,” said Dr Mohsin.
He put emphasis on identifying the richness of Omani ‘luban’ with the help of researchers and scientists and commercial experts for branding the product. “A management plan to achieve this goal is the need of the hour,” he said.
He suggested having a permit system under which the Olibanum harvesters should given training in sustainable harvesting techniques, and their work should be monitored to ensure the norms put in place are thoroughly followed.
This would allow frankincense harvesting to be done only by trained and registered harvesters.
“I am telling this because there is a threat of the trees being vanished due to uncontrolled cutting and this is inevitable if anyone and everyone is allowed to chopping the trees to get the olibanum gum or ‘luban’.