By Constantine Akitanda
A strategic plan to fast-track the scalability of organic agriculture in Zanzibar is in the final stages of preparation and expected to be endorsed this August.
The team working on developing the strategy says a lot has been done so far and the final draft will be tabled in August to be agreed and be launched officially.
Stakeholders from the Zanzibar Ministry of Agriculture and Trade, Zanzibar Trade Cooperation (ZTC) and civil society organizations have for almost one year been involved in the project to make Zanzibar a fully-fledged organic agriculture Island.
Commonly known as the Spice Islands, Zanzibar has for a long time been exporting quality exotic spices worldwide, from traditional cloves to cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, black pepper and chilies.
An organic agriculture strategy in Zanzibar will also open up opportunities for value addition and processing of by-products such as perfumes, perfumed soap, medication and food processing items, hence boosting trade and businesses within and without.
Zanzibar’s Minister for Trade, Industries and Marketing, Ambassador Amina Salum Ali, said last year that the Zanzibar Revolutionary Government planned to come up with policies, strategies and programs which would influence and enhance rapid growth of organic agriculture in the Isles with the aim of advancing trade and tourism in the archipelago.
“Zanzibar needed to act right away, without further delay. If we continue to dilly-dally it will take us too long and we shall have to toil a lot,” the minister told AfrONet Newsletter in an interview at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) on her return from Biofach, a prominent world organic exhibition held in Nuremburg, Germany from February 14-18, 2018.
The organic exhibition trip for Zanzibar policy makers was facilitated and financed by the Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM) through Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiatives (EOA-I) and OTEA.