Zanzibar President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein. (Photo by Ramadhani Othman)

The Zanzibar government has purchased a total of 4,466 tonnes of cloves worth 66.9bn/- through the Zanzibar State Trading Company since last July.

This was revealed by Minister for Trade, Industry and Marketing Nassor Ahmed  Mazrui during his talks with Zanzibar President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein at the  State House where he had gone to brief the president.

The minister led an entourage from his ministry in order to brief the president in a series of meetings in which the president has been receiving ministerial performance reports for the fiscal year 2011/2012.

The entourage told the president that since the onset of the clove harvesting season, the government had already sold a total of 1,500 tonnes of cloves worth USD 17.9 million, equal to 27.6bn/-, this month.

Furthermore, the minister explained that several measures had been taken in order improve clove marketing strategies, including holding talks with traders on new regulations and procedures of conducting business.

It was revealed that food prices were now being set after consultation between the government and the traders, which had made the prices a bit more manageable.

The minister further explained that the price of sugar in Zanzibar, currently standing at between 1,900/- and 2,000/-, was better compared to other countries in East Africa.

The ministry also informed the president that it had already finalized research geared to turning Zanzibar into a Special Economic Zone in the East African Community.

Dr Shein, for his part, commended the ministry for its impressive performance, saying clove production was on the increase because of the various initiatives being taken by the government.

He challenged the ministry to device methods of helping spice farmers to improve production while looking for markets for their products.

Dr Shein also met with the leadership of the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training under its minister, Ramadhani Abdalla Shaaban, for the same purpose.

The president said the Zanzibar government was working hard to  improve and strengthen the education sector, including improving the quality of education being offered by the State  University of Zanzibar (SUZA).

Reading the ministry’s report, Shaaban explained that efforts were being made to rehabilitate Fidel Castro and Utaani secondary schools, saying the process would be completed in July, this year.

He also said that similar efforts were being made on Forodhani and Tumekuja secondary schools.

The minister also explained that efforts to obtain contractors for five secondary schools in Kiembesamaki, Mpendae, Kwamtipura and Kibuteni locations were in advanced stage.

Source The Guardian

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