Zanzibar Cloves

Zanzibar is known all over the world for production of high quality cloves. Up to 1990s and many years before that, Zanzibar was well- known for the production of large quantity of cloves; more than 6000 tons of cloves used to be produced annually.

People are more care of clove trees and clove products; they are obliged to sell their cloves to the Government authorities.   They are much aware of quality, as everyone makes sure that the cloves he or she sells are of the highest quality.

Havesting season

There are two harvesting season of cloves annually; the Mwaka season (July- November) and Vuli season (December - March). The Mwaka cloves tend to be heavier than the Vuli cloves.


The optimum stage for picking clove buds is when the buds are fully developed and the base of the calyx has turned from green to pink colour; not before that or when they are overdue. The clove pickers should not dislodge twigs as dislodging of twigs reduces the bearing ability of cloves trees. 

The process of separating cloves from the stems should be undertaken with due care, in a clean environment and on mats. Maximum care is needed to avoid mixing cloves with unwanted bodies and particles.

Drying Process

The cloves should be dried in clean and tidy places by using mats. They should exposed to enough sunlight in open air for at least three days, and never be dried by keeping them on roads or floor. The farmers who care for their cloves are more likely to be given a good price for his or her cloves. Farmers should always bear in mind the fact that cloves are edible so they must meet the standards required in food hygiene before they are taken to the market.


 Before selling the cloves, farmers are ought to do final sorting, which is removing or separating cloves from all unwanted bodies.   Farmers are offered first grade for clean and high quality cloves, hence they earn more money.


 In an effort to increase the production and exportation of high quality cloves, the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar has offered the farmers a good deal; it pays   them 80 per cent of the market price.

 The Government has been developing an intellectual property and branding strategy for Zanzibar cloves. The branding project is aimed at giving Zanzibar cloves unique name and image in the world market.

 Through the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, ZSTC provides 1,000, 000 seedlings of cloves for farmers annually free of charges.

 ZSTC offers soft loans to cloves farmers to facilitate harvesting activities.

 ZSTC has built new clove buying centers in various localities near to farmers to facilitate the transportation of cloves.

 ZSTC has introduced new weighing scales and improved the availability of various facilities and services in the clove centers.


  1. To ensure that all cloves that are taken to ZSTC centers are clean and well sorted to the extent that they should not have more than 2% of unwanted bodies.
  2. To ensure that all cloves that are taken to ZSTC centers are dry and the moisture content should not exceed 14 %.
  3. Only the Sun should be used for drying cloves. No other methods, such as, frying, should be used.
  4. Care should be taken to ensure that the cloves that are sold to ZSTC are not mixed up with clove powder, clove stems, poor quality cloves, and other unwanted bodies.
  5. Cloves should be picked when they have fully developed. 
  6. We ought to ensure that cloves are dried on the mats and in the Sun at clean and tidy place.
  7. We must put a stop to the smuggling of cloves and clove seedlings and make the best use of income generated by clove production to boost our GDP.
  8. Cloves buying centers operate by following office working hours; from 7:30 am to 3:30pm. Farmers are strongly advised to follow and stick to that schedule.
  9. Every clove stakeholders should fulfill his/her role accordingly in order to safeguard the quality of cloves.


 ZSTC is looking forward to an amicable and successful cooperation with farmers and all other stakeholders in its efforts to augment productivity and improve the quality of Zanzibar cloves.