The Challenge Faced Peasant Clove Producers in Pemba, Zanzibar, 1920s – 1950s


Volume/Issue : Volume 8 - 2023, Issue 8 - August

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This paper focused to investigate the challenge faced peasant clove producers of Pemba, Zanzibar from 1920s to 1950s. Peasants had been the main producer of various crops prior the advent of colonial domination in Zanzibar islands. Cloves arrived in Unguja and Pemba from Indian Ocean French dominated island of Ile de France (Mauritius) in the second and the third decades of the 19th century. Peasants of Pemba took part gradually in the cultivation of this crucial western demanded raw material; however their position as crucial producers was lagged behind by the slaves who provided prominent source of labours in the production. The abolition of slavery and slave trade in the second half of 19th century sparked up the domination of peasants in the cloves production. The data divulged that the development of peasant clove production was the deliberate measures taken by the British colonial government in Zanzibar especially from 1920s where peasants became the merely producers of cloves especially in Pemba where vast of cloves supporting land was available. Peasants were preferred so as to enable British colonialists to achieve their colonial interests crucial for expansion of capitalistic interests in Europe as a result of severe impacts caused by the World War One in Europe. Moreover, the findings disclosed that production of clove by peasants in Pemba was associated with several challenges that threatened expansion and development of peasant production in Pemba. There were serious clove tree diseases (Die back and Sudden death) that killed considerable numbers of clove trees in the island, changes in climatic condition and price fluctuation jeopardized the expansion of clove cultivation, few clove selling centre and variation in clove grade system minimized peasants benefit from the production. This paper benefited from the historical research design where the Theory of Mode of Production was used to inform the study. To construct pure historical knowledge both primary and secondary data were used where qualitatively data were collected, analysed and presented. The primary data were collected from Zanzibar National Archives (ZNA) and Pemba Institute of Archiveand Record (PIAR), Oral attestations were extracted from various clove stakeholders in Pemba where the study was conducted.

Keywords : Clove, Colonial Government, Pemba, Peasant Clove Producer, Slave Trade, Wapemba, Zanzibar.


Paper Submission Last Date
31 - December - 2023

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