Organic spices farming in WEST Districts, Zanzibar: Its contribution to livelihood outcomes of smallholder farmers

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


In recent years, organic agriculture has been gaining considerable importance. Many farmers today show interest all over the world in organic farming. Several of them have begun switching to this traditional method of cultivation as a means to produce safe foodstuffs and preserve the environment. The concept of organic farming is not new, but it has been scantly studied. An organic spice farming is a part of the organic farming which requires to be studied widely. Spice production is a popular economic activity in Zanzibar. The purpose of this study was to assess the contribution of organic spice farming to livelihood outcomes of the smallholder farmers. The study adopted a cross-sectional research design. A random sampling procedure was used to obtain 120 households. The households were categorized from three clusters namely: merely organic, certified organic and inorganic spice farming farmers. Data were collected using a household questionnaire survey, focus group discussion and key informant interview. Both quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed. Among the three types of spice farming, inorganic spice farming could an averagely produce 174.3 kg/household, followed by merely organic (86.3 kg/household) and certified organic (70.2 kg/household). However, certified spice farming households earned in average 565 900 TAS higher than others ((merely organic (361 170 TAS) and inorganic (350 500 TAS)). Further, certified spices contributed to 26.2% of the total household’s income, followed by merely organic (23.1%) and inorganic (19.0%) spices. The farmers who certified their spices had been food secured for about 43%, followed by merely organic spices (35%) and merely organic spices (30%). Generally, all the three types of spice farming led to the farmers affording to meet social services at above 70%. The study concludes that spice farming enhanced livelihood outcomes among households. There is, therefore, a need of putting more effort in spice farming improvement, particularly certified organic spice farming as it gives high earnings to the households.


MSc. Dissertation


Zanzibar, Smallholder farmer, Organic agriculture, Organic spice farming, Organic farming, Household livelihood