ZANZIBAR government has adopted an 80-per cent pricing system in clove, reaffirming its resolve to commercialise the country’s major cash crop.
Isles Second Vice-President, Hemed Suleiman Abdulla told the House of Representatives that clove remains one of the key Zanzibar identities and among the major sources of foreign currencies.
Presenting his office’s 2021/2022 budget estimates, the government affairs’ chief executive in the house however decried the unpredictable international clove market due to a myriad of factors, but maintained that the government will remain the only buyer of the cash crop from farmers.
“The government has decided to use the system of paying 80 per cent of the world market price. Under this arrangement, farmers will get extra pays if the government sells the produce at above the buying price,” Mr Abdulla said in his 80-page speech, adding: “We will provide special skills in the pricing transparency.”
The new pricing system will replace the previous flat rate system under which farmers received 14,000/- per kilogramme of clove irrespective of the prevailing world prices.
The seventh-phase President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein backed the pricing system to reportedly protect farmers against the market instabilities.
Critics however dismissed the system as uneconomical and a heavy burden to the government through the Zanzibar State Trading Corporation, which oversees the clove industry in the country.
Mr Abdulla said the government will however continually pursue new clove markets in the world to ensure that all produce in the country have sustainable markets and attract lucrative prices.
The government will as well invite investors to establish clove processing industries, which will add value to the cash crop, said the second vice-president, imploring farmers to improve the quality of their produce to attract buyers in the world market.
Besides expansion of Pemba-based clove bud factory, the government will investment heavily in supportive infrastructure for the cash crop. Issuance of credit facilities and free seedlings to farmers; construction and repairs of buying centres; insurance services for accident victims; construction of roads in clove producing areas and public awareness to farmers are among the government strategies to improve the crop.
The second vice-president further said industrial development is another key focus of the government in boosting the economy and improving the welfare of wananchi.
He said the government plans to establish industrial parks in all districts besides the Zanzibar Investment Promotion Agency (ZIPA) arrangement.
Under the ministry of trade and industrial development supervised project, the government will provide the parks with all supportive infrastructures for smooth operations of the industries.
Mr Abdulla said the government will further invest in promotion of Zanzibar’s tourist attractions to strengthen the foreign currency minting sector. He moved the house to approve over 89bn/- for the office to execute seven main and 14 minor programmes in the 2021/2022 fiscal year.
The house committee on national leaders’ office decried the tendency by leaders to give many promises which are not implemented, describing the tendency as unbecoming.
Vice-Chairperson of the committee, Mtumwa Peya Yussuf advised the government to have in place a special arrangement to execute all pledges that the national leaders give to wananchi.
She further queried the recurrence of adversities during rainy seasons, asking the government to work out firm disaster preventive measures instead of focusing on curative programmes.