ZANZIBAR – In a bid to enhance tourism offerings, the authorities in Zanzibar have reaffirmed their commitment to supporting spice farmers, recognizing spice farming as a key attraction for tourists.

Abdalla Mohammed Juma, the Director of the Department of Tourism in Zanzibar’s Ministry of Tourism and Heritage, emphasized the need for spice farmers on Pemba Island to upgrade their farms, not only to increase yields but also to draw more tourists and generate additional income.

Juma, addressing spice farmers in Mtambwe village in Wete District of North Pemba Region, highlighted the importance of aligning with the 2017 tourism policy, encouraging individuals to capitalize on all opportunities to boost the tourism industry.

He noted that well-maintained farms with amenities such as toilets and rest areas are essential to cater to the growing interest of tourists in spice farming.

Pemba Island, renowned for producing a variety of spices, including cloves, lemongrass, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, black pepper, and vanilla, stands poised to become a hub for spice farming tourism.

Furthermore, President Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan had recently affirmed the government’s commitment to supporting clove farmers, expressing the intent to unlock market opportunities for cloves through increased knowledge for high-value output.

During the inauguration of the Karafuu Investment House of Zanzibar State Trade Cooperation (ZSTC) on January 9, 2024, President Samia stated, “The government will continue to look for opportunities to increase skills and expertise in the scientific cultivation of cloves to enhance productivity and quality.”

She emphasized the need to maintain the value of cloves, given the sustained demand in the international market.

Cinnamon exports in Sri Lanka

Meanwhile, on a global scale, efforts to elevate the status of Ceylon Cinnamon exports in Sri Lanka have seen significant progress.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB), recently recognized the first batch of Geographical Indication (GI) certified Ceylon Cinnamon growers in the country.

This initiative, supported by the European Union (EU), aims to enhance the competitiveness of Ceylon Cinnamon, which holds 90 percent of the global market share for Sri Lanka.

Dr. Kingsley Bernard, Chairman/CEO of Sri Lanka Export Development Board, emphasized the positive impact of an enhanced competitive position for Ceylon Cinnamon in the EU market.

“It will result in increased exports for Sri Lanka, higher income, and employment generation across the cinnamon value chain,” he stated.

Forty-five farmers/processors met the GI requirements and obtained their certification, marking them as Sri Lanka’s first-ever GI certified Ceylon Cinnamon growers.

Alejandro Alvarez de la Campa, Country Manager for IFC Sri Lanka and Maldives, highlighted the renewed focus on positioning Ceylon Cinnamon for high-value global markets, leveraging its historical reputation for richness in spices.

As both Zanzibar and Sri Lanka take strategic steps to promote their unique spices, these initiatives not only contribute to the agricultural sector’s growth but also bolster the countries’ tourism and export potential.

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