Kinshasa, October 4th, 2021 (CPA).Pharmaquina CEO Étienne Erny explained to Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde the strategic advantages of quinine production in the DRC, during a hearing he granted him on Saturday in his cabinet.
The latter welcomed the opportunity given to him to explain to the Prime Minister the value that the Congolese agricultural sector derives from the cultivation of cinchona, a tree whose bark is used in the manufacture of quinine at this time when the official narrative is to base its economy on the revenge of the soil on the subsoil.
« Today, the opportunity was given to me to present to the Prime Minister the strategic part of quinine, cinchona bark, of its culture, and to show that the DRC holds 80% of the world potential of the culture of cinchona. This further enhances the agronomic sector compared to other sectors, particularly mining, of which we also have a great deal of heritage,”he declared.
The general manager of Pharmaquina considers it necessary for the local industry to benefit from a certain protection in order to succeed in transforming cinchona locally in order to give it an added value which, for the moment, benefits abroad.
“For quinine, I think it was necessary to present this strategic part, this potential that we have. We, as processors of this product in the country as a local industry, we would like us to be able to generate additional capacities and have certain protections on this subject to generate more added value which, for the moment, is more generated at the moment. ‘foreigner than in the country’, he regretted
Étienne Erny underlined that his company has come a long way in the fight against malaria in the DRC with its product, quinine since 1960. He promised to continue to be a good partner of the Republic in the future if he came. to benefit from the requested support.
“It’s a natural product. It is a culture of a cinchona tree, which grows for more than 7 years and generates bark. In this bark there is a natural quinine content, which can be refined, industrialized, made into quinine sap for the market and for the treatment of malaria. This product does not yet have resistance, mainly for the treatment of malaria,”said the latter.
“Our real problem is to have more quotas of raw materials which are currently exported abroad and which go to the export market at lower costs, at dumping prices. We are losing all that part, when we could export it. The price of 1 kg of quinine in the form of raw materials is naturally much lower than in the form of a finished or semi-finished product. We have a certain capacity. We don’t want to pretend we want to have a monopoly. Far from there. We invest in the country as everyone is free to do in this area. We have some installed capacity. You can install more capacity. But we need support, ”he pleaded.
“Our company, Pharmaquina, has been in existence for 6 decades, since 1960. We plan to stay for a very long time. We would like to tell the Congolese that we are there, that we manufacture a quality product. The Congolese people know our product, quinine very well, even if it is a little bitter. The population prefers that quinine is bitter to be sure that it is the real and good quinine of Pharmaquina”, he concluded.