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Trees against malaria: strengthening of academic and research capacity on Cinchona trees in Peru, Ecuador and DR Congo


Quinine is the oldest antimalarial medicine and currently still widely applied for curative treatments. The pro-duction and use of natural quinine is still immensely important. Quinine and related alkaloids are extracted from the bark of Cinchona trees. These trees are now relatively rare in their native range in South America but 25 % of the global production occurs by smallholders in DR Congo (South and North Kivu province) where the tree was introduced during the Belgian colonial period. Production of quinine in DRC, however, is suboptimal. In this JOINT project, we will bring together and exchange knowledge, expertise and know-how on cinchona from its native range (Peru and Ecuador, where the diversity is present but natural populations were heavily exploited in the past) and its introduced range (DR Congo, where the tree is a cash crop for smallholders) leading to new opportunities, cross fertilization of ideas and mutual learning. The strategic goal is to strengthen academic and research capacity in South America and Africa leading to sustainable intensification of cinchona production and its conservation in the tropics.

Intervention type



01/01/2019 - 31/12/2021

This project is being implemented in:
Flemish promoter Pieter De Frenne
Local promoter Julio Alegre Oriuela
Local partner institution Universiteit Gent
visit www.ugent.be
Local partner institution Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina
Other Flemish Partners KU Leuven
visit www.kuleuven.be
Other local partners Universidad de Cuenca
visit http://www.ucuenca.edu.ec/
Université Catholique de Bukavu
Budget € 134.750