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Dr Mwinyi increases  seaweed prices fourfold

Dr Mwinyi increases seaweed prices fourfold

ZANZIBAR’s seaweed prices are set to rise almost fourfold to 2,000/-, thanks to government investment in the processing plant, President Hussein Mwinyi announced here on Monday.

Besides the 5bn/- investment in the Pemba plant, the government has directed Zanzibar State Trading Corporation (ZSTC) to start buying the oceanic produce at relatively better prices.

Currently, private buyers offer between 500/- and 600/- per kilogramme-the prices which President Mwinyi describes as negligible 

“We have directed ZSTC to start buying seaweeds as they do for cloves...and one of my directives is to offer 2,000/- per kilogramme, almost four times of the current prices,” Dr Mwinyi said in an exclusive interview with Tanzania Standard Newspapers (TSN) medium outlets in his office. He said the 5bn/- budget has already been set aside, adding that the contractors have pledged to commission the project within nine months.

And, payment of 2,000/- per kilogramme will start once seaweed processing starts, President Mwinyi said, adding: “...in the meantime I have asked ZSTC to consider paying relatively higher prices.” He said through provision of capitals, reliable markets and training, his administration is determined to uplift the seaweed subsector, which employs majority Zanzibar women.

The president said from COVID-19 fund, the government has an adequate budget for the crop.

“We expect to get high productivity in fishing and seaweed farming, the sectors through which majority people identify the blue economy,” said Dr Mwinyi.

He said the government has resolved to provide farmers and fishermen with capital and modern farming and fishing gears to modernise their farming.

Dr Mwinyi reaffirmed the government’s commitment to nurture and promote clove as the key cash crop in the country, saying; “We have no any plan to abandon clove, which is the key crop in Zanzibar. Almost all the development you see in Zanzibar today is the product of clove revenues.” He appreciated the fact that despite COVID-19 outbreak, the global market for clove remained stable, leading to steady prices to farmers.

Zanzibar is globally renowned for her best quality clove and farmers have for over a decade now been receiving steady prices of between 10,000/- and 14,000/- per kilogramme, depending on the grading. President Mwinyi said the government is putting emphasis on spice farming, which he described as highly lucrative and fits well in Zanzibar’s limited land.

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Author: MASATO MASATO in Zanzibar

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