Zanzibar’s official statistics provider (Office of the Chief Government Statistician – OCGS) has released figures on the performance of the agricultural sector.
The report provided an insight into the country’s performance and impact of different interventions carried out by the Government and other stakeholders to improve the agriculture sector in the country.
According to the National Budget Brief of 2018 organized by OCGS and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), unequivocally, the share of development spending in the national budget of Zanzibar increased from 17 per cent to 46 per cent between 2013/14 and 2017/18. On the other hand, the share of recurrent budget decreased from 83 per cent to 54 per cent for the same period. for the same period.
The report, on the other hand, gave out crucial sets of data which include: quantities and values of fish catches, cash crops, mining and quarry, seaweeds, forest products and number of inspected and slaughtered livestock.
The report shows that, the quantity of fish caught in the second quarter of 2019 has slightly increased from 8,860.3 tons with total value of over $20,300 accounted in the second quarter 2018 to 9,115.5 tons with the total value of $21,044 million recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019, equivalent to the decrease of 2.9 percent.
Fishing in Zanzibar is fused within people’s cultures and it is one of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution activity in Zanzibar. Hence, the budget brief, patently—displayed the economical shift, whereas—for the past seven years, economic growth is not entirely dependent on agriculture and fishing in particular, for a 3.5 per cent less.
Zanzibar has also a fair foothold on cash crop production to sustain its economy, whereby, the government perceives the latter to be: crops that are grown for sale to return a profit; they are sorely cultivated for the market either local or international. In Zanzibar, the leading cash crops are seaweed, clove and clove stems.
On the seaweed production, statistics pointed out that, seaweed production has increased in the second quarter of 2019, from 2,516 tons recorded in the second quarter 2018 to 2,925.02 tons of the corresponding quarter of 2019, equivalent to the increase of 16.3 percent. Out of the total quantity of seaweeds produced in the second quarter 2019, 99.1 percent was Eucheuma spinosum seaweeds and only 0.9 percent was Eucheuma cottonni . But also, the average price per kilogram for Eucheuma cottonni was $0.90 and that of Espinosiam was $0.22 only.
Clove production and sales
Per the report, the clove production in the second quarter was recorded at less number compared to the corresponding quarter in 2018.
“The quantity of clove purchased in the second quarter 2019 was 20 tons worth of $ 120,429, the quantity decreased of 68.7 percent as compared with the quantity purchased in the previous quarter (2018) which was 63.8 tons valued at $ 385,981. The largest quantity of the cloves (62.5 percent) worth $ 75,246 was purchased in June followed by the quantity purchased in April whereby 3.8 tons of cloves were purchased worth $ 22,656. The lowest number of cloves was purchased in May whereby only 3.7 tons of cloves were purchased valued at $ 22613,” the report reads.
However, on the quantity of clove and value of purchased clove stems, numbers also showed a decrease which is 92.7 per cent less, compared to the previous quarter in 2018, which was at 9.1 tons worth $ 3962.
“The largest quantity of the cloves stem (85.8 percent) worth $ 174 was purchased in June followed by the quantity that was purchased in May whereby 0.06 tons (8.2 percent) of cloves stems were purchased worth $ 21. The lowest amount of cloves stems was purchased in April whereby only 0.04 tons of cloves stems were purchased valued at $ 17,” the report stated.
Cloves have been a major cash crop since the Zanzibar revolution in 1964, several reports, including Reuters—showed that Zanzibar, which had a monopoly over the crop, but its staggering production trends has resulted to a loss of less than 10 per cent of the world market.
Fruits and Vegetable Production
The report indicated a rather substantial increment in fruits and vegetable production for the second quarter.
“Area planted with fruits and vegetables for the second quarter of 2019 increased by 18.5 percent (from 2,508.1acres in 2018 to 2,973.03acres in 2019). This has also influenced the increase of the total fruits and vegetable production by 58.3 percent. The production increased from 7,154.8 tons recorded in the second quarter of 2018 to 11,322.9 tons recorded in the second quarter 2019,” the report reads.
These numbers give a clear picture of the latter and its future development, which calls for investment for processing industries of different kinds of fruits and vegetables, necessary for expanding agriculture development landscape in Zanzibar and the economy at large.