- Published on Wednesday, 08 August 2012 01:25
- Written by ISSA YUSSUF in Zanzibar
- Hits: 819
CLOVES buying centres closed in May this year after the end of the official clove season, will reopen this weekend to enable farmers to finish off their cloves stocks, the Minister for Trade, Industries, and Marketing, Mr Nassor Ahmed Mazrui, said.
"The cloves buying centres will open within three days, and all farmers with cloves in their houses should sale. We may announce new prices before opening the stations," Mazrui said yesterday before the House approved 5.5bn/- budget for his ministry for 2012/2013.
Currently, the price of cloves is 15,000/- per kilogramme and Zanzibar celebrates the buying of over 4,000 tonnes of cloves last season (2011/2012). Thanks to control of cloves smuggling to Kenya, and good prices for farmers.
The minister said that the government was now overhauling its Zanzibar State Trade Corporation (ZSTC), the sole buyer of cloves in the islands including retrenching some of its 228 workers, to establish Zanzibar Cloves Fund.
"We are serious in increasing clove production, but we will not hybrid and change drying methods. Hybrid and abandoning traditional drying methods of sun drying may affect our cloves. Zanzibar is proud of its original organic cloves," Mazrui said.
Meanwhile the minister said that some unnamed executives in his ministry will be punished for selling several tonnes of cloves abroad without the government's approval. The executives sold the cloves at 8,500 US dollars per tonne instead of US 12,000 dollars.