Introduced plants invaded Zanzibar

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Starfruit from Zanzibar

How fruits, plants and spices enrich Zanzibar

by Anita Makri

EXCERPT

In the 2000 years of trading across the Indian Ocean, fruiting plants and spices from around the world have been introduced to Zanzibar and the smaller Pemba Island 80 kilometres to the north. The growth of plantations and trade in the sought-after spices brought new settlers, increasing demand for resources such as wood for building and herbs for medicine.
Spices are still a big part of daily life on Zanzibar and in Swahili culture, not just in food but as traditional medicines and for spiritual, cultural and cosmetic use. They are also a major export and tourist attraction. In 2013, tourism overtook agricultural exports as Tanzania’s main source of income — despite official statistics excluding informal activities such as spice farm tours, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Read the full article: SciDevNet

 

 

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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