Quinine Heritage2020-10-06T13:34:25+07:00


The cultivation of quinine plant in Indonesia especially in the island of Java is pioneered in year 1855 by Frans Wilhem Junghuhn, a German doctor and scientist on duty in the Netherlands.

At that time the Netherlands was motivated to gain advantage and benefit from quinine. The Netherlands really wanted to cultivated the quinine plant in their territory, Therefore they assigned Justus Karl Hasskarl, an ex Kebun Raya Bogor Director to obtain the quinine plant seeds from his native country, Bolivia.

A quantity of 121 boxes contain the seeds of Calisaya quinine plant was succeed to be brought under the escort of the Netherlands battle ships. But due to the long journey not all the seeds can be saved. From 70 seeds saved, hereinafter is given to Frans Wilhem Junghuhn as a close friend of Justus Karl Hasskarl which was on duty to cultivate the quinine plants. The seeds were later planted in Cibodas, Puncak (West Java). But, due to the inappropriate location, Junghuhn, later pick the west hillsides area of Malabar mountain in the area of Pangalengan, Southern Bandung.

The choice was proven to be very precise because the temperature and the rainfall in the area was very suitable for quinine plant. Ten years later in 1865 or one year after Junghuhn passed away, the quinine plant cultivation takes place on the large scale in the North Bandung Area. At that moment the government of The Netherlands brought in 500 gram @2800 seeds of ledegeriana quinine seeds which was obtain from Bolivia.

Location of Bandung in Indonesia

The quinine manufacturing in Indonesia Started in 1896, where the Netherlands build “Bandoengsche Kinine Fabriek N.V” at Jalan Pajajaran Bandung (now its called the Kimia Farma Quinine Plant) to process the cinchona bark brought in from the production center in Pangalengan and Lembang. This factory reached its glory days up until the Pre World War II period. At that moment the Netherlands really enjoy the huge profit from quinine trading. If in year 1875 the production of the cinchona bark reached 22 tons, then in year 1895 it was increasing on to 1.000 ton. The cinchona bark production is continously increasing along with the expanding of the plantation. Near the time of world war II, in Indonesia only it is recorded not less than 107 units of cinchona bark plantations with approximatelly broad around 18.000 Ha, with its production capacity around 11.000-12.000 Ha of dried barks. But from that amount produced the processed barks by Bandoengsche Kinine Fabriek N.V was just only around 4.000 ton. The remaining 7.000-8.000 ton was shipped  abroad. So that in the 20th century, Java Island become famous because it supplied more than 90% of world quinine demand.

Quinine production activities

But along with the occurence of World War II, the condition of quinine plantations were unable to maintained. The war has caused Indonesian quinine loss its market. In order to that the quinine plantations became neglected, even most of the plantations were switched into other  commodities. In year 1957-1958 the take over of the Netherland plantations occured, the area of quinine plantations were only 50% left with the production of the cinchona bark around 36% left compared to the time before World War II. The fte of quinine plantations were becoming more severe, when in 1965 large looting happened. The quinine plant blindly cleared, skinned, and then dried, and then the result of it were sold to the fences which was ready to collect up until 2005 the area of quinine plantations in West Java only 4.400 Ha remaining, and the production only around 1.000 ton, far much smaller compared to the time before World War II that reached 12.000 dried barks.

Bandung Kinine Fabriek N.V

The drastically decrease of Indonesia quinine production is continued until now. This end up in causing Indonesia’s position reversed into quinine importing country. Whereas at this moment this country have PT. Sinkona Indonesia Lestari as quinine manufacturer, which is jointly owned by PT. Kimia Farma (Persero) and Tbk, PT. Perkebunan Nusantara VIII. With its 100 ton production capacity alone, PT. Sinkona Indonesia Lestari through the whole years active, needed as much as +/- 2.500 – 3.000 ton annually. Specifically in 2013 where PT. Sinkona Indonesia Lestari will increasing its production capacity into 150 ton, so it is predicted that the needed supply will become +/- 4.000 – 4.500 ton annually.

Indonesian Quinine Heritage Timeline