History of the Kajoe Aro Tea Plantation, the Oldest Tea Garden in Indonesia and the Largest in the World

History of the Kajoe Aro Tea Plantation, the Oldest Tea Garden in Indonesia and the Largest in the World

After Kerinci was controlled by the Dutch through the persistent resistance of the hulubalang and all the fighters and natural people of Kerinci in 1902-1906. The fighters led by the Warlord Depati Parbo from Lolo, Gunung Raya region, H. Ismail. Bilal Sengak warlord of the Central Island, fought bravely against the Dutch soldiers. However, when Tengah Island fell into the hands of the Dutch through a fierce and longest battle in the history of the struggle for the natural world of Kerinci, gradually the natural world of Kerinci was integrated into the administrative circles created by the Dutch, and the land of Kerinci was successfully occupied by the Dutch through a process that was not easy.


Historical records reveal that the realm of Kerinci could only be entered and occupied by the Dutch colonialists in 1906 through heavy fighting from late 1902 -1903 to early 1906, thus the realm of Kerinci was only colonized by the Dutch for no more than 40 years. Even though it was only 40 years colonized by the Dutch and 3.5 years colonized by the Nation


Japan, but the suffering experienced by the people of Kerinci was very heavy, the Dutch and Japanese in their actions were not unlike "Three Money Equals". the arrival of the Japanese was like "Fall from the Mouth of the Tiger into the mouth of the Crocodile", they sucked the people's blood through forced labor and tax levies which tormented the people of the natural world of Kerinci.




After the battle of 1903-1906 there was almost no significant resistance from the people in nature Kerinci, resistance only in the form of explosions and sporadic small resistance in several hamlets, fighters with traditional homemade weapons were defeated by modern weapons belonging to the colonialists. In the 1906-1920s there was only the shooting of the Dutch leader by H. Bakri Depati Simpan Negeri in 1914, and during that event H. Bakri died in an ambush and a terrible attack carried out by Dutch soldiers. H. Bakri died as a martyr in a rice field area (Tanah Munggok) not far from his residence.


The Bukit Barisan Mountains that stretch from North to South of the western part of Sumatra Island, centered on the Kerisedenan area of ​​West Sumatra, Central Sumatra Province, during the Dutch colonial period until 1958 Kerinci was included in the West Sumatra region.




After being occupied by the Dutch since 1903, Kerinci was maintained as an autonomous region, in the sense that it was not part of West Sumatra and not part of Jambi as it is known today.


In 1921, Kerinci was designated as part of the Afdeling (level of Kewedanaan) in the Residency of West Sumatra. The government unit was simpler, there were only three onderafdeling areas (Districts), namely (I) Painan and Batang Kapas, (ii) Balai Tuesday and Inderapura, (iii) Kerinci, in 1929 the Painan afdelling was abolished and merged into Kerinci this made Kerinci's emotional connection closer to West Sumatra than to Jambi, this emotional connection occurred long before the arrival of the Dutch, during the Japanese period and the War of Independence until 1958 it remained status as part of administrative area of ​​West Sumatra. At that time (1942 – 195 ) Kerinci was one of the districts in the South Coastal District of Kerinci (PSK).The three regions of Central Sumatra were divided into three provinces in 1958, respectively the Province of West Sumatra, Jambi Province and Riau Province, Kerinci became an area with Regency status and was part of Jambi Province with the capital of Kerinci Regency in SungaiFull.


When Kerinci was still part of West Sumatra, Kerinci at that time was the most fertile area in the entire archipelago, in terms of food this area had been self-sufficient from the start, and its inhabitants often referred to their area as "God's Own Country". Land fertility in the West Sumatra region, especially in Kerinci, is due to the fact that the land in this area is covered with mountainous material (Vulkanische Materiaal) which covers the surface of the land which is hilly.


Natural materials in the form of alluvial soil, granite and andesite which cover the highlands in the North Kerinci Mountains and South Kerinci area make the land in this area very suitable for planting various plantation crops for export such as tea, coffee, quinine, etc. Besides that, all types of vegetables can grow and thrive in the natural highlands of Kerinci.


Sufficient and regular rainfall throughout the year in this mountainous area causes very little difference between the dry season and the wet season. The natural conditions are fertile, cool, peaceful and beautiful and captivating. VIII” climate/seasonal changes in the mountainous areas of North Kerinci which occur in April, October and November every year allow this area to become the main producer and supplier of abundant agricultural products, according to world agricultural experts, Kerinci nature has land/soil that contains very high levels of mineral-reserve.


Prior to 1924, almost all of the "erfpacht perceel" land in the area of ​​West Sumatra including Kerinci was planted with coffee, at the beginning of 1924 coffee plants were replaced, because at that time the price of coffee on the international market was unsatisfactory and at that time there was a disease attack that attacked the plants. coffee. This situation led to the emergence of tea and quinine plantations in the Residency area of ​​West Sumatra, in fact long before that, in 1903, tea plantations had been carried out on the island of Sumatra in the Akar Gadang area (1903) and Cinchona Gardens in Taluk Gunung Gardens (1907), but the plantation business had not yet been established. optimally done. Planting on a large scale began after 1924. Especially for tea plantations in the Residency of West Sumatra, it reached 5,473. 925 hectares and 831 hectares of coffee land which is “erfpacht” land. The results of tea plantations at that time were quite encouraging compared to other types of plantation crops.




During the Dutch Colonial period, in nature Kerinci there was an Onderneming center with 3 plantation locations built by the Dutch namely coffee in the Batang Merangin area (1928), quinine and tea in Pulau


Aro's Cage and Wood. In the Kerinci region during the Dutch colonial period, the center of tea, quinine and coffee plantations was in 1 district of Rencong Telang (Sangkar Island) whose customary territory extended to Kebun Baru. lubuk sahap (this bridge collapsed in 1930) and a suspension bridge which was completed in 1932.




To realize the construction of coffee, quinine and tea plantations at the three plantation locations, the Dutch brought in workers (Koeli Contracts) from the island of Java. The Dutch coffee plantation business opened plantation areas in the Batang Merangin neighborhood of Pematang Lingkung, plots 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and bed 12. For Kina/Tea, settlements were built in new gardens and gardens five, while for tea in the Kebun Baru-Pulau area The construction cage was stopped and built in the Kayu aro area at the foot of Mount Kerinci with the center in the Bedeng VIII area, the Jambu River, Kersik Tuo to the foot of Mount Kerinci


The business of expanding tea plantations experienced obstacles because of "Thee Aanplane Ordonnantie, Stbld, 1933 No 22 which was intended to maintain tea prices on the world market, but the tea plantation business in the Residency of West Sumatra was not too affected by this ordinance. Of all the tea plantation areas within the Residency of West Sumatra, at that time the average plantation area reached 660 hectares, while on the island of Java it only reached 350 hectares, processed tea in West Sumatra reached 450 tons, on the island of Java at that time it only reached 165 Tons


At that time the West Sumatra residency had 15 tea plantations, 5 of which reached class I production, 3 of which reached class II, 4 gardens reached class III, one plantation reached class IV and two gardens reached Class V.


Names of tea plantations and tea production achieved at that time respectively are:


1. Bukit Malinggang Plantation with an area of ​​1,720 hectares, class III production class


2. Gedang Lake Gardens with an area of ​​2,500 hectares, Class I Production


3. Halaban Gardens with an area of ​​1,615 hectares, Class III Production


4. Aro wood, covering an area of ​​2,525 hectares, Class I Production


5. Pecconina Gardens with an area of ​​2,024 hectares, Class II Production class


6. Sako Dua Garden with an area of ​​2,825 hectares, Class I Production


7. Talu Plantation with an area of ​​982 hectares, Class V Production Class.


Since 1934 all the tea gardens in the Residency of Sumatra including the Kayu Aro tea garden have been able to produce, but there are several gardens which have been laid off due to a lack of "Cultuur-technis" during the Dutch occupation, the suffering of the people throughout the nature of Kerinci was really under pressure. In addition to collecting taxes, the Dutch also carried out forced labor, including forced labor to open the SungaiPUh-Tapan road, SungaiFull towards Solok-West Sumatra, SungaiFull towards Bangko and digging a flood canal/artificial river in Lake Kerinci. During this forced labor, tens or even hundreds of Kerinci people died due to malnutrition due to unfair treatment




In addition to controlling the nature of Kerinci and collecting taxes on the people, the Dutch Government also pioneered and opened up tea plantation areas in Alam Kerinci, and historically the tea plantations were originally developed by a Dutch company, namely NV. HVA (Namlodse Venotchhhaaf Handle Veriniging Amsterdam) in 1925. Previously, the business of opening tea plantation land was carried out in an area located in Kebun Baru, Gunung Raya District. This garden was stopped from planting due to inadequate availability of land. On the other hand, during the Dutch colonial era, this area was a dense forest area which was a water catchment area and the headwaters of the Lempur River which was used by residents for their daily necessities and to irrigate the community's rice fields.


At that time the Indigenous leaders in Lekuk 50 Tumbi Gunung Raya strictly forbade the Dutch companies to open plantation land in the area.


With careful consideration, the Dutch finally moved to a forest area in the highlands which is now known as a tea plantation PTP.N6 Kayu Aro Gardens at the foot of Mount Kerinci which is currently called the Kayu Aro District area which has a cool/cold climate with an altitude of 1,400 to 1,400 s/d 1,700 meters above sea level.


To cultivate the tea plantation land, the Dutch brought workers (Koeli Contracts) from plantation workers who were on the island of Java, most of whom were brought in from East Java and Central Java. In the following period, after Indonesian independence was won and the plantation company was taken over by Indonesia, the plantation workers from Java Island remained in Kayu Aro and continued to work as workers in the plantation area and the Kayu Aro Tea Factory.


Previously, when the Dutch left Kerinci, the tea gardens and factories were taken by the Japanese in 1942, and at that time the Japanese recruited 40 "Koeli Contract" families who worked at Kayu Aro to be employed as "Koeli" in the Kebun Baru area, Gunung Raya District, the " Contract Koeli-Koeli” which were originally employed by the Dutch were taken over by the Japanese

to grow Horticultural crops, Coffee, Hemp, Corn and Rice. Until now, the descendants of the "Koeli Koeli Contract" are still living and mingling with local residents in Gunung Raya District and local residents of Pulau Sangkar, Batang Merangin District.


The 3rd and 4th generation of Kerinci residents are former contract workers who work on plantations formerly owned by Dutch companies. They are now emotionally integrated into the local community. There are no striking differences between the communities from the island of Java and the people of the Kerinci tribe. In the last few decades, there have been marriages between the descendants of the Javanese ethnic group and the Kerinci tribe, they have adapted to the native inhabitants of the Kerinci realm, although culturally and linguistically there has been a mixture of cultures including language. among the younger and educated generations, the children of Kerinci of Javanese descent have lived together, the Javanese in Kayu Aro and in Kebun Baru are fluent in the Kerinci language and they understand the original culture of the Kerinci people.


the life and atmosphere of the community order in the Kayu Aro sub-district, Gunung Tujuh sub-district, which is generally dominated by the Javanese and residents of the Kerinci tribe (most of whom are from the Siulak sub-district) and the Kerinci people of Minangkabau, Batak and other regional ethnic groups in the archipelago are running in harmony and harmony , and economically the people who live in this region are relatively better economically compared to other regions. This is because this area is the leading Agro-Business Satellite area in Kerinci.


Notes quoted from "Mededeelingen van het Bureu voor de Besteur van het Buitenbeziitingan Encylopaedea Bureu" (Batavian: NV "Papyrus", 1915, p. 67), stated that in 1915 the population in the new Kerinci realm amounted to 59,886 inhabitants with details of 16,489 inhabitants male and 18,626 female souls. And 24,772 souls of children. At that time the most densely populated hamlet in Kenci was Semurup hamlet with a population of 11,719 people, followed by Sandaran Agung with 7,326 people and Sungai Full hamlet with 6,479 people.




In 1912 the natural population of Kerinci experienced an increase, this was because in that year the Dutch government in power in Indonesia brought in Javanese people to be employed on the "Tea Kayoe Aro" plantation and coffee plantations in Batang Merangin - Tamiai as contract workers/coolies. In the same year and 2 years after that the population in nature Kerinci increased, the Kingdom of the Netherlands placed its employees so that in 1915 there were several white people and around 80 people of Chinese descent, in 1930 the population continued to increase, there were 161 Europeans , 974 Chinese and 55 other foreign foreigners, and the total population in the realm of Kerinci in 1930 had reached 91,759 souls.


In the era of Independence to the present, between residents of Kerinci from Java with local residents of Kerinci and immigrant residents from Minangkabau, North Sumatra, South Sumatra, Sunda. etc. have run harmoniously, there has almost never been social turmoil in this heterogeneous area, they have carried out a long process of adaptation and are driven by their socio-culture to carry out exogamous marriages.


Historically, the Kayu Aro tea plantation business was opened from 1925 to 1928, the work was carried out by NV. HV A. The seeds of the tea plants were planted in 1929 and considering that the tea plants began to produce high quality shoots, in 1932 the Company NV. HVA (Namlodse Venotchhaaf Handle Veriniging Amsterdam) set up a factory, and since the start of production, the Kayu Aro tea garden has produced black (Orthodox) tea.


Based on PP.No.19 of 1959, the Dutch-owned tea plantations were nationalized and taken over by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia. The status of the Kayu Aro tea plantation business management organization has undergone several changes according to the conditions prevailing at that time. In 1959 -1962 the production unit was managed by PN.AnekaPlant VI. In 1963 -1973 the Kayu Aro plantation was part of PNP Region I North Sumatra. And starting August 1, 1974 it became one of the plantations of PTP VIII domiciled in Medan, North Sumatra. In 1996 all PTPs in Indonesia were consolidated, the former PTP VIII and other PTPs in Jambi and West Sumatra became PTP Nusantara 6 (Persero).


Currently, the Kayu Aro tea plantation HGU in the Bedeng VIII area has HGU certificate number 2 dated May 8 2002, has a total area of ​​2,624.69 hectares of productive planted land and 389.91 hectares of unplanted land covering a nursery area of ​​6.85 hectares. forests, ravines and cemeteries 220 hectares, emplacements / buildings 106.13 hectares, roads and bridges 56.93 hectares. Thus the total area of ​​Cultivation Rights managed by PTP.N.6 Aro Wood Estate is 3,014.60 hectares.


Until 2011 – 2012 the tea production of Kayu Aro garden reached 6,087,940 Kg of dry tea in 2011, and now considering that the tea plants are old, replating (rejuvenation) is carried out. The total production value has decreased, and in 2011 the total production value reached 5,703,625 Kg of dry tea of ​​the Orthodox type which was marketed in Western and Eastern European countries, Russia and Russia's fractional countries and Middle Eastern countries.


PTP.N.6 Kebun Kayu has been producing CTC dry tea besides maintaining orthodox dry tea. Tea produced by the Kayu Aro plantation is exported through the export port via Belawan Port, while the Ocean-Teluk Bayur-West Sumatra port is a transit warehouse and an export port via Tanjung Periok. For export and local sales directly handled by the PTP Nusantara 6 Directors Office through the Jakarta joint marketing office (KPB) using an auction system (auction). Most of the tea plants in Aro's wooden garden are on average quite old and gradually from 2011 to 2015 rejuvenation (replating) was carried out by carrying out new plantings in each afedeling within the PTP environment. Archipelago 6 Aro's Wood Gardens. For 5 years it has been programmed to carry out Replating of 1,707,


Kayu Aro tea is processed from selected tea leaves produced by Kayu Aro gardens, gardens and factories which are the nation's "Historical Monuments" built by a company from the Netherlands (NV. HVA) in 1925. The plantations used tea seeds until now known as The best "Black Tea" in the World (International Tea Committee), and until now the Dutch Windmill State routinely buys tea produced from the Kayu Aro-Kerinci gardens in Jambi Province, and records from the Netherlands say that since the time of Queen Wihelmina came to power at the time of colonization Indonesia, until the next generation of Queen Yuliana and Queen Beatrix, they really like tea from the Kayu Aro Kerinci garden, they don't want to drink any other tea besides Kayu Aro Kerinci tea.Similarly, the British Government family and the British Prime Minister and important people in the UK consume tea products produced by Kebun Kayu Aro.-Kerinci-Jambi


Tea is known in foreign countries, especially in the regions of Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, the Middle East, India and Sri Lanka, the Kayu Aro tea plantation is the oldest tea plantation in the country and the area where Kayu Aro tea is located is the largest tea area in the world and is located number 2 highest in the world after the "Darjeling" plantation at the foot of the Himalayas which is planted at an altitude of 4,000 meters above sea level, with an area of ​​500 hectares of tea gardens, however the Darjeling Tea Gardens cannot be picked and processed all year round because the tea gardens are closed in winter layer of Snow.


The people of Jambi have generally only consumed Kayu Aro tea a few years ago, this is because 80% of the total production is exported abroad, and the people of Jambi Province are actually more familiar with packaged tea from outside the region which has brands such as Sariwangi, even though some of Sariwangi tea and Sosro tea comes from the Aro Wood Garden. "Kayu Aro tea" is a natural gift from Kerinci which is beautiful and well-known in the world market, because Kayu Aro tea has a specific, original aroma without the use of chemicals or flowers.


The tea plantation business managed by PTP.Nusantara 6 Kayu Aro business units nationally has contributed foreign exchange to the state, but on the other hand the PTP.N.6 company has also contributed in the form of fresh funds to the Provincial Government of Jambi and the Government of Kerinci in the form of tax payments PBB, PKB and insurance, value added tax (VAT) and corporate PPH in accordance with the Company's profits.


To support the development program for the Tourism sub-sector in Jambi Province, especially the development of the tourism industry in Kerinci nature, since 1998 tea plantations and factories which still maintain their original forms were developed as a tourist destination area, these plantations and factories left over from the Dutch colonial era are visited every holiday domestic and foreign tourists. This area is part of the Kerinci Seblat National Park (TNKS) network, the company has played a role by making the plantations and tea processing factories in the Kayu Aro business unit area an agro-tourism and historical tourism area. Especially for historical tourism enthusiasts, you can directly visit the factory with Dutch heritage architecture and the Kayu Aro tea processing industry.


PTP.Nusantara 6 Kebun Kayu Aro has built a recreational facility with natural nuances "Aroma Peco" in the middle of a tea plantation location by completing natural tourism infrastructure facilities, and from this tourist area visitors can witness the beautiful natural panorama of Mount Kerinci (3,805.mdpl) which is towering high with white clouds that float neatly. If the weather is good, visitors can see Mount Kerinci in its entirety at 09.00 WIB until noon, but if the weather is cloudy and rainy, then Mount Kerinci is covered in clouds. Mount Kerinci is one of the highest mountains on the island of Sumatra which has never been angry, since the time of History (AD) until now Mount Kerinci still looks friendly to its environment,


Mount Kerinci "coughed" several times, and when he coughed the mountain caused a "Volcanic Earthquake" which emitted sparks and blows of volcanic ash which could damage the vegetable crops belonging to farmers. Mount Kerinci is the friendliest volcano compared to other active volcanoes in the world. Throughout history up to the XXI century, Mount Kerinci has never shown an unfriendly attitude, bursts of volcanic dust from the crater of Mount Kerinci actually increase the fertility of the land around its foot. Mount Kerinci, according to farmers, volcanic ash only damages vegetable crops in the not too distant future.



Until now Mount Kerinci is the most promising natural tourist object, especially for adventurers and mountain climbers from abroad and within the country, in the Mount Kerinci area visitors can still enjoy the natural panorama, expanse of tea gardens and tropical forests and witness rare flora and fauna. To enter the Mount Kerinci area up to the crater at the top of Mount Kerinci, visitors can ask for help from a guide from the TNKS officer or from a local guide from the local community.


The writer who visited the tourist area with Indosiar TV reporters, Trans TV and SCTV Jakarta separately witnessed various natural panoramas on Kerinci's earth. The natural beauty of the Mount Kerinci area is indeed beautiful and truly captivating, tourists who visit this area can see the expanse of tea leaves like a green carpet stretching as far as the eye can see, from Siulak Deras to the Telun Berasap tourist area - the border with West Sumatra, can witnessing the reddish glow of Casiavera shoots that are hit by the morning sun, visitors can also enjoy the smell of robusta coffee flowers that line up neatly in the garden of the Kerinci natural farming community


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