Mitragyna Speciosa or "Kratom" is a tree native to Southeast Asia. It is grown and harvest in locations such as Thailand, Indonesia, and in the Malaysian peninsula to Borneo.
Kratom is a "understory” crop which means that it thrives in the lower regions of the forest that receives filtered sunlight through the canopy. Kratom cannot be planted in direct sunlight. In order for this crop to thrive it needs nitrogen-rich, fertile soil and a warm environment. Working with the Rainforest ecosystem is essential to growing kratom. Many producers are cutting down much of the Rainforest in order to grow various crops including kratom. This is a mistake because they do not understand the delicate balance that is required for the plant to grow.
To have a good quality kratom leaf farmers must work with the thick, ancient jungles, harvesting leaves from the mature kratom trees that grow naturally in this region. These mature kratom trees tend to have a higher quality and a denser alkaloid content.
What we see happening today is a steady increase for the demand of kratom worldwide. This uplifts the agricultural economy in Southeast Asia but also aids in Rainforest conservation. As mentioned before, kratom requires a thick Rainforest to flourish. Since the demand of the kratom leaf is increasing, farmers are incentivized to maintain and save the Rainforest.