Summary of “The Spice of Zanzibar”, an article written by Thembi Mutch, a writer/journalist based in Tanzania; contributed to the Travel Culture Magazine and published April 8, 2013.
Mzee Foum Garu is a descendant of slaves and comes from a long line of spice farmers. He is the founder of Zanzibar Organic Spice Products; a small plantation, three acres that yields cardamom, vanilla, betel nut, turmeric, cinnamon and two very potent spices – curry leaves and nutmeg. Knowing the history of the spice trade – how valuable spices were (and still are) – and also knowing that since about 2008, annual sales of spices have increased by an estimated 500% – as unbelievable as it sounds, the business itself, i.e. harvesting and selling spices, has not been very profitable for the small farmers. Foum knows that spice farming is not the same as vegetable cultivation; so as a business sideline he decided to offer training in this area. It seems tourists are more than happy to pay to come and see or learn the actual process of how organic spices are grown. In 2013, Foum reported: “this year business is picking up; with more money I will expand and train more and then organic spice growing will improve”.
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