Tanga joins Morogoro in strategy to grow cloves

TANGA: AS efforts to achieve its targeted per capita income of 3,000 US dollars by 2025, farmers in Tanga and Morogoro regions are being motivated to grow cloves to benefit from rarely fluctuating global prices of spices, raise their disposable income, and the per capita GDP.

Tanzania has already attained and crossed the middle-income status, which starts at 1,096 US dollars.

The current government’s ambition is to cross the 3,000 US dollars mark well before 2025 using the agro-industrial transformation approach and capitalising on growing horticultural crops, especially cloves, since the crops have stable external markets.

Cloves are traditionally grown in Zanzibar, but with Sagcot intervention, cloves are now thriving in hilly districts of Morogoro Region, and harvests have surpassed those of Zanzibar.

In 2022, Morogoro Region produced around 2,000 tonnes of cloves, while Zanzibar produced 4,000 tonnes, confirmed the Morogoro Regional Administrative Secretary, Dr Musa Ally, as farmers in Mvomero District are being drawn into growing the crop to significantly increase their disposable income. But the situation has changed radically.

The national strategy is to draw more regions with the requisite climate conditions and soils into growing cloves, and Tanga farmers are now the focus. Meetings of experts from public and private institutions known as “Promoters of Agriculture and Environment Protection Forums,” championed by the Southern Agricultural Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), are being held to provide guidelines on how to motivate farmers to grow crops best suited to their areas and produce enough for exports.

SAGCOT Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Kirenga told the forum held here yesterday that growing spices locally is an important element in the nation’s strategy to grow for exports, increase decent rural jobs, and farmers’ disposable incomes.

“Horticultural crops have a huge external market, and prices are lucrative; these crops matter in this strategy. Cloves have a stable market and profitable prices for farmers. Farmers can sell at between 14,000/- and 18,000/- per kilogramme. These indicative prices show how farmers’ disposable incomes can quickly rise if we give the crop requisite attention,” he told the delegates.

He said Zanzibar is a world grower of cloves, with a century of experience in the crop’s trade and is familiar with big global markets.

The strategy, he said, is to grow the crop on Mainland Tanzania.

“Our founder growers of cloves are Morogoro and now Tanga Regions. They have shown us that we are on the right path because the two regions are already harvesting more tonnes of cloves than Zanzibar,” he told delegates.

Earlier this year, Morogoro Region and Sagcot co-sponsored a study tour of 20 farmers to learn how to grow cloves in Zanzibar.

Cloves are grown in Morogoro Rural, Kilombero districts, Mlimba District Council, and now Mvomero District has been added to the list.

The District Commissioner, Judith Nguli, pledged that “farmers will be motivated to grow the crop to shed poverty. We shall spare no effort because this is an opportunity we cannot afford to lose,” she pledged.

SAGCOT’s Morogoro Regional Manager, John Banga, said under the strategy, Morogoro Region has been designated as a region for growing cereals and horticultural crops, apart from traditional cash crops.

“In the past two months, we have distributed 150,000 clove seedlings. The good thing is that stakeholders are coming forward to make this a reality,” he said.

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