In almost every Indonesian household, a small bottle of cajuput oil is kept for remedying various health problems. Cajuput oil is produced from a species of Melaleuca native to the Maluku Islands, especially the islands of Ambon, Buru and Seram. However, the largest production of cajuput oil in Indonesia is on the island of Java, from the cajuput stands in the Perhutani region and the Forest Management Unit of Yogyakarta. The species is also native to eastern Indonesia, Timor-Leste and the Top End of Australia.
The increasing demand for cajuput oil, in Indonesia and globally, has not been matched by efforts to increase production. The Center for Forest Biotechnology and Tree Improvement in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in collaboration with CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products and with funding support from AusAID and ACIAR, initiated a selection and breeding program to increase the productivity of cajuput and the quality of oil produced from the species.
This book brings together current knowledge about the cajuput tree and its oil, which remains part of the culture of Indonesian people. The book highlights the importance of the species in the production of herbal medicine, and presents information on the cultivation and utilisation, genetic improvement and importance of cajuput for the rural economy.
This book was originally written and published in Bahasa Indonesia. ACIAR is proud to publish the English version, to facilitate a much greater reach of its valuable information and share Indonesia’s vast experience in cultivating cajuput for oil production.