• Short Summary

    The clove picking season -- when the immature buds which contain the clove oil first appear -- was over two months ago so could not film picking.

  • Description

    The clove picking season -- when the immature buds which contain the clove oil first appear -- was over two months ago so could not film picking. Cloves mainstay of Zanzibar's economy -- price has been very high for years now. Main exports to Europe, Amerda, Indonesia (where used to make clove flavoured cigarettes). Used in confectionery and to make clove oil which vital ingredient toothpastes, medicines, etc. Also oil (iso-eugenol) used as raw material in synthesis of vanillin, very important sweets, confectionery, etc, etc. Punishment for clove smuggling is death -- at present there are 12 Kenyans in Zanzibar under this sentence. Believed Pres. Jomo Kenyatta negotiating with Pres Jumbe for reduction of sentences.

    Cloves are not native to Zanzibar, but were brought by the Sultans in the nineteenth century from island in the Eastern Indian Ocean. Today, most of the world's supply of cloves comes from zanzibar, with smaller quantities coming from Madagascar and elsewhere. The trees need to grow for a number of years before they produce cloves in any quantity, it is therefore an agriculture that needs investment that brings no return at first. 90 percent of Zanzibar's cloves are, in fact, grown on Pemba since the disastrous hurricane of 1872 destroyed many of Zanzibar's plantations. The clove is the dried immature bud of the clove tree which is a relative of the common myrtle. It is used as it is in cooking and flavouring, and an essential oil is extracted from it which is of great commercial value to the medicinal and confectionery trades and also as the source of eugenol and iso-eugenol which is the starting point for many orgasmic syntheses of great importance, including that of vanillin (far cheaper made this way than extracted from the vanilla pod). Cloves are Zanzibar's most important cash crop, and the island may be said to depend absolutely on this monoculture, though the present Government is making attempts to diversify. So important is the crop that the penalty for smuggling cloves is death; 12 Kenyans and an unknown number of Zanzibaris were recently found guilty by a People's Court (secret hearing) of this offence and sentenced to death. The final decision rests with Chairman Abpud Jumbe who many cancel or commute the sentences. It is said that President Kenyatta has personally pleaded with Jumbe for the lives of the 12 Kenyans. If this is so, it is unlikely that his appeal will go unheard. Kenyatta is very popular with the ASP and the Zanzibari people.

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  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
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