ZANZIBAR: MOROGORO and Tanga may be having more cloves and spices than Zanzibar, a status that prompted farmers from the two regions to collaborate with their counterparts from the Isles in search for markets for their produce.
Under the new collaboration, Mainland farmers are now lobbying the Zanzibar State Trade Corporation (ZSTC) to buy the stranded produce.
This was revealed during the week-long study visit by farmers and leaders from Morogoro and Tanga regions to Zanzibar during which they learnt how they could improve crop production including planting, caring, harvesting, storage and access to market along with value addition procedures.
The 52- member delegation led by the Morogoro Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS) retired Commissioner of Police (CP) Mussa Ali Mussa, expressed their happiness with the reception they received from the host ZSTC.
The team learned about the history of cloves and spices in Zanzibar, and its current situation including challenges, and what the farmers from Morogoro can take from the isles to improve production in their areas.
“We are very happy to be here because this is the first time for most of the people in the delegation to visit Zanzibar. It is an important study visit, particularly, as it gives an opportunity to learn on how we can share experience and market the produce locally and abroad,” said Mr Mussa.
According to Mussa, the farmers in Morogoro have more than 2,000 tonnes of cloves in storage, and also, they have considerable unsold tonnes of lemongrass, cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon, chili, and gigger.
“They need skills on how to handle spices farming and secure reliable market for the products,” he said.
The Zanzibar Minister for Trade and Industrial Development, Omar Said Shaaban; and the Agriculture, Irrigation, Natural Resources, and Livestock Minister Shamata Shaame Khamis welcomed the farmers from Morogoro and Tanga, offering maximum cooperations.
“We are ready to provide or share our skills so that we can promote cloves and other spices grown in Tanzania Mainland. We are also ready to buy and export the produce. Let us share the knowledge, use it well to propel our economy.
The reforms and areas of cooperation should include clearing all barriers in transporting spices from Morogoro to Zanzibar,” Mr Shaaban explained.
In the recent past, cloves from Morogoro was prohibited to enter Zanzibar, but according to Mr Shaaban, the fresh move is a result of push from President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Zanzibar’s Hussein Mwinyi, needing both sides of the Union to strengthen relations even in non-union matters.
“We have to collaborate for economic, social and political prosperity in our country,” said Mr Khamis.
ZSTC Managing Director (MD) Mr Soud Siad Ali promised that the next issue after the visit is to organise a fact- finding visit to Morogoro and other spices producing regions in Tanzania mainland, to open doors for business.