Managing Director of Zanzibar State Trading Corporation (ZSTC) Ms Mwanahijja Almas Ali has asked clove farmers to continue supporting government efforts in strengthening clove sector by protecting its natural quality.

Speaking at the meeting of clove stakeholder’s South region Unguja Ms Mwanahijja said that by protecting the natural quality, Zanzibar cloves will continue to lead in the world market.

She said that the main aim of the government in clove sector is to see it generating more foreign exchange earnings and help to boost the economy and development, therefore there is need to be protected by every citizen so as to increase production and protect the quality.

“Developing clove sector is equal to develop the economy and welfare of the country, more effort is needed so as to reach the government goal” she insisted

She asked clove farmers to be more careful by making sure they bring well dried and clean cloves to the buying centers.

Presenting the topic of Clove Development Act NO:2 of the 2014 Secretary of Board of Directors of ZSTC Ali Hilali Vuai said that in accordance with the clove development regulations of 2014, exposing cloves on roads, veranda, on tin or deliberately contaminating with unneeded materials in cloves is an offence.

He said that in accordance with regulations cloves should be dried by using mats or other materials advised by ZSTC.

“Any person who will go against to the directives shall be fined not less than 50,000 or imprisoned not less than two months”. He said.

Giving advice in all Regions several times in clove stake holders meeting, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ZSTC Mr. Kassim Suleiman Maalim told clove farmers to use modern techniques of Agriculture and abandon poor Agricultural methods

“Use professional and modern methods of Agriculture by each of you (farmers), must have your own nursery of seedlings, well planting personnel and properly harvesting without cutting branches” he advised.

In addition, he advised clove farmers to open bank accounts so as to be paid their money through their accounts and avoid the common way of walking with a lot of money in their pockets.

South Unguja Regional Commissioner Hon, Dr. Idrissa Hajj Muslih said that ZSTC is very close to the clove stakeholders especially farmers due to various services and support they provide to them.

Moreover Pemba North Regional Commissioner Hon. Omar Khamis Othman asked defence and security organs to take strict measures against those who export crops by smuggling.

On his side, Head of the Department of Forest Pemba Said Ali Juma said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources Zanzibar continue to strengthen clove production by producing more clove seedlings and educating farmers on best planting method.

He said that during the beginning of 2000s the focus was to produce 500,000 seedlings per year (300,000 in Pemba and 200,000 in Unguja) but from 2012 till 2014 the goal has increased to 1,000,000 seedlings (600,000 in Pemba and 400,000 in Unguja) and more effort is done to make farmers produce more through community schools.

Forestry Officer from Unguja Badru Mwemvura has notified that clove seedlings are provided free of charge to farmers through Shehas, District Offices and From Department Forestry, each farmer receives 35 to 40 seedlings and the ministry do the follow up of plantations.

Mwemvura said that regardless of efforts there are still challenges, include the need of seedling to be more than the ability to produce. He mentioned other challenges that are caused by climate change which result to detriment of trees and increase demand of land for building.

He said that despite those challenges, efforts of recent year’s shows success, according to the evaluation made in 2012, Pemba has 3.457 million clove trees. According to ZSTC 1990/91-1999/2000 statistics, there are 2.86 million clove trees and according to Clove census in 2012 said that 43% of the trees are less than 10 years old.

Presenting the assessment of the 2014l2015 clove harvesting season, ZSTC officer in charge Pemba Abdulla Ali Ussi said that clove purchase from farmers have eluded the target by more than 23 tons, which is equivalent to 0.8 percent of the planned estimates.

He said that in particular year up to 18/06/2015 the total 2823 tonnes of clove has been purchased from farmers Unguja and Pemba (133 tonnes from Unguja and 2690 tonnes from Pemba), of which 2,800 tonnes were estimated to be purchased, 120 tonnes in Unguja and in 2680 tonnes in Pemba.

With regard to the procurement of stem, he has notified that the target was not met in Unguja and Pemba, only 303.7 tonnes purchased out of 700 tonnes estimated, where the transaction is 56.6% of the planned estimates for Unguja and Pemba.

In their contributions at the meeting, some farmers asked ZSTC to continue to be close to the farmers by helping them to meet their demands by providing loans to clove farmers.

Some farmers have expressed their disappointments over some people who cut cloves trees for the aim of stealing and livestock keeping on clove farms where by the situation is very depressing.

Those farmers have insisted on the management of the law to be able to protect the quality of their clove and there should be no excuse to any person.