The Development of Mangoes as a Cash Crop in Muyuni, Unguja | Cash Crop | Mango

MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, LIVESTOCK AND NATURAL RESOURCES

ZANZIBAR CASH CROPS FARMING SYSTEMS PROJECT (ZCCFSP)

WORKING PAPER No.: WP 95/26

AUGUST 1995

THE DEVELOPMENT OF MANGOES AS A CASH CROP IN MUYUNI, UNGUJA

BY:

Foum Ali Garu Richard Main (ed) Suleiman Mohammed Ahmed Abdulrahaman Rashid Martin Walsh (ed)

ZCCFSP P.O. BOX 2283 Zanzibar

Telephone / fax: (054) 33121

CONTENTS
Page Preface Introduction: Purpose of the Study Research Methods Mangoes: Origin and Introduction The Introduction of Mangoes to Muyuni Mango Varieties in Muyuni The Development of the Zanzibar Market The Development of the Export Market Impacts of the Export Trade Preliminary Remarks Land and Tree Ownership Management, Marketing and Incomes The Continuing Expansion of Production Conclusion: Lessons Learned from the Study References ii 1 3 4 5 6 8 10 12 12 13 14 16 17 19

PREFACE This is one of a series of five cash crop case studies undertaken by the socioeconomics section of ZCCFSP in Zanzibar. The main aim of these studies is to analyse the different factors which have led to local cash crop development, with a view to forming policy recommendations and devising practical interventions which might further facilitate and promote this kind of development in the future. We hope that the lessons which are drawn from these studies will be of relevance to the Ministry as a whole, and not just to projects like ZCCFSP whose primary interest is in encouraging sustainable cash crop production and marketing.

The present study examines the development of mango production and marketing in Muyuni, in the south-east of Unguja. It is based upon fieldwork carried out by the staff of the agronomy section of ZCCFSP on Unguja, with additional library research by ZCCFSP’s social anthropologist. Here we

would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the farmers in Muyuni who participated in the study, as well as colleagues in ZCCFSP Unguja who provided additional background information on Muyuni and the production and marketing of its mangoes.

Martin Walsh & Richard Main (eds) ZCCFSP Pemba and Unguja

Zanzibar, August 1995 Other titles in this series: The Development of Oranges as a Cash Crop in Ndijani, Unguja (WP 95/22) The Development of Turmeric as a Cash Crop in Makangale, (WP 95/23) The Development of Sweet Potatoes as a Cash Crop in Makangale, Pemba (WP 95/24) The Development of Pineapples as a Cash Crop in Machui, Unguja (WP 95/25)

THE DEVELOPMENT OF MANGOES AS A CASH CROP IN MUYUNI, UNGUJA
Introduction: Purpose of the Study 1. One of the principal objectives of ZCCFSP is to foster the development of cash crop production and marketing in Zanzibar and to enhance the capacity of farmers, traders, and government to participate effectively in this development. The history of government-directed efforts to promote cash crop diversification in Zanzibar has not always been a happy one. Agricultural research and extension have more often than not followed the top-down model, where researchers and policy-makers decide what is good for farmers and extensionists impose it upon them with a minimum of consultation and consideration for what farmers themselves might think. As long as clove production dominated the economy of Zanzibar the recurrent failure of this approach seemed to make relatively little difference. The

recent and drastic decline in clove prices, however, has given agricultural diversification a new urgency. The adoption and dissemination of a

participatory approach to research and extension has been a key feture of ZCCFSP’s response to this situation, and the present study (one of a series) was conceived in this light, and not as an academic exercise. 2. If participatory research and extension are to be effective it is essential for researchers and extensionists to understand how farmers and traders think and act and why they do so. The traditional approach to this question, however, is to ignore it until it starts to have a negative impact upon project or programme objectives (when farmers’ and traders’ actions do not match expectations) and it often too late to do anything about it (especially if a lot of time and resources have already been expended in reaching this point). Zanzibar provides a good example of this: before ZCCFSP began work (in November 1991) almost nothing had been written about farming and marketing practices on the islands aside from the little that could be gleaned from the results of questionnaire-based surveys. Agricultural projects and programmes were therefore devised and implemented in a virtual void, filled only by the assumptions of planners and the incomplete or informal

knowledge of implementers about the indigenous practices relevant to these. 3. As ZCCFSP’s own experience has shown, developing and

institutionalising an alternative approach is not something that can be done overnight. The orthodox model of cash crop diversification and development is, as might be expected, crop-oriented and often focuses upon the introduction of new germplasm (new at least to a particular group of farmers and/or a particular location). The basic method is simple: it is the

researchers’ task to find a crop or variety which has a promising market, and than to work on ways to introduce it, expand production and ensure that it reaches the market. It is also an old method, and one which was employed extensively during the colonial period. In some cases it succeeds, and a number of the crops being sold in Zanzibar’s markets are improved varieties which were introduced through the agricultural research station at Kizimbani. However, many of them were not developed in this way, and the records of MALNR are replete with time-consuming and expensive failures, of introduced crops and varieties which have all but sunk into oblivion. 4. ZCCFSP has continued to work with this model, albeit with a number of important refinements. These include an emphasis upon on-farm trials,

careful assessments of export markets, and of the potential for expanding production in terms of what is known about the land available and the likelihood that farmers’ will grow the crop or switch to the new variety in the first place. To the extent that this work is conducted participatively with farmers and traders, it might be thought of as a compromise between old and new approaches. It is not, however, entirely free from the problems which afflict the inherited model. On-farm trials in a range of crops and varieties on both Unguja and Pemba have been abandoned following their failure for one reason or another, and while important lessons have been learned in this process, it is quite likely that similar failures will occur in the future, in other MALNR projects which operate with this model as well as ZCCFSP. 5. The present study of the development of mangoes as a cash crop in Muyuni, in south-east Unguja, is one of a series designed to address this problem. These approach the issue of cash crop development from a quite

different angle, by looking in detail at selected crops which have already become important commodities without any direct input at all from government researchers and extensionists, and in some cases in spite of their efforts. 6. The philosophy behind this approach to the problem is quite straightforward. Rural Zanzibar comprises more than 100,000 farm

households, most of them with two or more members involved (in varying degrees) in farming and (to a lesser extent) in the sale of farm produce. Every year they make innumerable decisions about the cultivation and harvesting of a wide variety of farm plots, including major decisions about what to plant, what to sell, and how. In so far as they are striving to solve agricultural problems (as a means to meet the requirements of domestic survival and subsistence), they are conducting agricultural research. From this point of view the number of formal experiments which government researchers can undertake pales into insignificance. And while the

proportion of farmers’ experiments which have an uninteresting design or result might seem inordinately high to a formal researcher, the cumulative effects of farmers’ research can be very impressive, and have

consequences which many government researchers and extensionists can only dream of. In short, a lot can be learned from looking at what farmers (and traders) are already doing. 7. By looking at past and present examples of successful cash crop development it is possible to examine and assess the contribution of a wide range of factors in each case. This is rather more difficult to do when

retrospectively analysing the failure of on-farm trials, especially when they have failed at an early stage. Although it may be possible to isolate the cause or causes of failure, there is no guarantee that this will suggest ways in which these and other constraints may be overcome, including constraints which emerge at a later stage of development. For example, if a trial fails before a crop is harvested, then there is obviously nothing which can be learned from this about marketing. The study of ‘real-life’ cases, however, offers a lot more information and should make it possible to provide much clearer guidelines to researchers who are experimenting with crops, varieties, and techniques which have not been known to farmers before. It

also makes it easier to assess the viability of crops, especially tree crops, which cannot be developed in a short period of time (for example within the life-cycle of a project) and provides some perspective on the length of time which the development of any cash crop might reasonably be expected to take. 8. By comparing a series of similar studies common patterns should emerge, and this has already begun to happen in the case of the ZCCFSP studies. The most important application of this is in the design of more appropriate strategies for fostering the development of cash crop production and marketing, as well as in predicting what some of its impacts might be upon different sectors of the farming and trading community. Readers of this report are asked to consider carefully what they think the implications of it might be, and what kinds of intervention might be effective in replicating the kind of development which has taken place in Muyuni, or how it might be improved upon. In the final section below we discuss some of the lessons which we think emerge from this study. This should not, however, be taken as the final word on the matter, and in a future report we will present an expanded comparison of all of the case studies and their implications, which would no doubt benefit from any constructive comment and criticism which is supplied to us in the interim.

Research Methods 9. This study is based primarily upon fieldwork undertaken in Muyuni by the agronomy section of ZCCFSP Unguja from January 1995 onwards (research is still progress at the time of writing). Muyuni is located in the south-east of Unguja, about half-way along the graded road which runs south from Jozani to Kizimkazi. Administratively Muyuni forms a single

shehia (formerly CCM branch) in the South district (Wilaya ya Kusini) of Unguja’s South region (Mkoa wa Kusini). The village is divided into three sub-units or wards, Muyuni A, B and C, and comprises numerous scattered hamlets. The combined population of these three wards in the 1988 census was 2,176 persons, of whom almost half were aged under 15. Muyuni falls within Unguja’s Farming Systems Zone 4, and was selected as the location

of this study because of the long-standing fame of Boribo Muyuni mangoes and their recent development as an export crop. 10. As already stated, intensive research was begun in Muyuni in January 1995. A series of in-depth interviews was conducted with farmers, both singly and in groups, in Muyuni, Makunduchi and Mtende. The notes

recorded during these interviews form the basis for the present paper, together with information which the agronomy section has continued to collect in the area. Whereas other ZCCFSP cash crop studies have been one-off pieces of research, investigation in Muyuni has taken the form of an ongoing research and development programme in which a wide variety of technical and practical issues have been addressed. The results of this work have been described in different ZCCFSP reports, which are listed in the bibliography at the end of this paper. 11. The results of research on mango marketing conducted by the socioeconomics section of ZCCFSP Unguja have also been incorporated into the present account. The combination of agronomic and socio-economic

research has meanwhile led to the production of a draft Mango Strategy, with proposals for the further development of the production of a draft Mango Strategy, with proposals for the further development of the production and export of Boribo mangoes. It is expected that this strategy will be presented to and discussed in detail with farmers, traders and key ministry (including MALNR) personnel in the first quarter of 1996. 12. A brief literature review has provided additional background data on mango production in Zanzibar and especially Unguja. No attempt has been made, however, to make a thorough research of the archives or interview other key informants either within or outside of MALNR. The full history of mango production and marketing in Zanzibar therefore remains to be written, as indeed it does for most other crops on the islands. 13. In writing this report we have tried to highlight the main stages in the development of mangoes as a cash crop in Muyuni, focusing upon the Boribo Muyuni variety, and singling out the principal factors which have contributed towards its current status as an export crop. The logic behind this form of presentation has already been outlined in the introduction above. Again, we invite anyone with additional information and/or

alternative interpretations to share them with us, and so add to the potential value of our research.

Mangoes: Origin and Introduction 14. The Mango tree, Mangifera indica L., probably originated in the IndoBurma region, and still grows wild in the forests of India, especially in the hills of the north-east. The mango appears to have been cultivated for at least 4,000 years on the Indian sub-continent. It is thought to have been taken to Malaya and neighbouring countries by Indians in the 5th or 4th century B.C. It is generally assumed that the tree was introduced to the East African coast by Persians in about the 10th century A.D. 15. There is, however, very little evidence to support this last hypothesis, which rests in part upon an outdated chronology and conception of the role of ‘Persians’ in coastal history. Although the Swahili word for the mango tree (mwembe, plural miembe) and its fruit (embe, plural maembe) appears to be ultimately derived from Persian, this loanword (together with many others like it) probably entered Swahili via Arabic. This suggests that

mangoes did not become well known on the coast until sometime after the Swahili diaspora, which is currently dated from around the middle of the first millennium A.D. onwards. This does not preclude the possibility that trees were introduced earlier, but at present there is no evidence for this. 16. Mangoes were certainly present on the northern Swahili coast by 1331, when ibn Battuta described their role in the diet of wealthy householders in Mogadishu: “The food of these people is rice cooked with butter, served on a large wooden dish. With it they serve side-dishes, stews of chicken, meat, fish, and vegetables. They cook unripe bananas in fresh milk, and serve them as a sauce. They put curdled milk in another vessel with peppercorns, vinegar, and saffron, green ginger and mangoes, which look like apples but have a nut inside. Ripe mangoes are very sweet and are eaten like fruit; but unripe mangoes are as acid as lemons, and are cooked in vinegar. When the Mogadishu people have taken a

mouthful of rice, they take some of these pickles. One of them eats as

much as several of us: they are very fat and corpulent.” (FreemanGrenville 1962: 29).

17. Considering the limited shelf-life of mangoes (around two weeks maximum for most varieties) and the nature of maritime communications in the 14th century, it can be assumed that these Mogadishu mangoes were either grown locally or somewhere within easy sailing distance along the Benadir / northern Swahili coast. 18. Whether or not mango cultivars were already present on Unguja, there is good evidence to suggest that mango cultivation became much more widespread during the period of Omani influence, especially when the plantation economy was developed in the second quarter of the nineteenth century. By the turn of the twentieth century a number of different mango varieties were being grown on Unguja. In 1903 the British Director of

Agriculture reckoned that there were about 24 varieties on the island, though he was only able to elicit the names of 17. 19. One of these varieties was Bourbon, now universally known as Boribo, a Swahili adaptation of the original French. As its name indicates, this

variety was introduced to Zanzibar from the Indian Ocean island of the same name, now known as Reunion. The previously uninhabited island of

Bourbon / Reunion was discovered by Europeans in the sixteenth century, and subsequently came into the possession of the French, who established plantations there and on neighbouring Mauritius in the eighteenth century. The ultimate source of the Bourbon mangoes is obscure (though it could presumably be deduced from a study of French archives). They were

probably introduced to Unguja around the same time as cloves, which were first brought from the French plantations on these islands in the second decade of the nineteenth century.

The Introduction of Mangoes to Muyuni 20. Farmers in Muyuni are generally agreed that mango trees were fist introduced to the area by Arabs more than a century ago. Informants can still point to what they say are the stumps of the first two Boribo trees in the area, and these are unlikely to be more than 150 years old. This is

consistent with what we know about the history of settlement in Muyuni and the expansion of the plantation economy and development of Omani Arabowned estates on the island. 21. The settlement and cultivation of Muyuni appears to be a relatively recent historical event. The core of the present village inhabitants trace their origin to an abandoned site on the nearby coast, about 3 km to the west of the modern settlement. This earlier village appears to have conformed to the ‘traditional’ Swahili pattern, in which the economy of the community revolved around fishing and the cultivation of crops on the coral rag in the immediate hinterland of the coast. Fishing is still an important activity in modern Muyuni, while the overgrown remains of the stone walls, mabigili, which once protected crops from animal predators, can still be seen on the coral rag. The villagers abandoned their coastal settlement and moved

inland about 3-4 generations ago. This was before living memory, although older inhabitants of Muyuni can recall a time when it was much more open and less densely settled than it is now. It is not clear what prompted this move. It may be that population growth pushed people out of the old village, and that the expanding plantation economy encouraged them to exploit new opportunities inland. 22. The current village site certainly offered new agricultural opportunities. Villagers talk about their ancestors’ ‘discovery’ of the comparatively fertile hills and valleys inland. There are about 8,000 ha of deep kinamo cracking clay soils in and around Muyuni, on both the high and the low ground. The settlers cleared the virgin bush and mostly built their houses on the hills, cultivating the slopes and valley land around them. This is a process which appears to have been repeated in many different locations on both Unguja and Pemba in the nineteenth century, as the plantation economy expanded. Some families in Muyuni still collectively own large tracts of land, and it is seems likely that the growth of the new settlement was intimately linked to the development of estate-based production in the area, with some villagers providing labour and services for others, including immigrant Arab landowners. Cloves and mangoes were among the tree crops grown in this new system. However, while Muyuni was never more than marginal to the clove-based economy of Zanzibar, the planting of mangoes proved

fortuitous, and has made Muyuni the focus of the islands’ most successful export crop development since the drastic decline in clove prices.

Mango Varieties in Muyuni 23. A number of different varieties of mango were introduced to Muyuni, though evidently not all at the same time. Before examining the different stages in the development of mangoes as a cash crop, it may be helpful to summarise available information on the history and some of the characteristics of these varieties. For further details of their characteristics readers are referred to the various ZCCFSP reports on mangoes listed in the bibliography at the end of this paper. 24. The immediate origin of Boribo mangoes, from the island of Bourbon/ Reunion, has already been described above. Numerous named varieties of this sweet and fibreless mango can now be found on the East African coast and offshore islands, including Zanzibar. There was probably already some variation in the original population, assuming that the first imported seeds did not derive from a single elite tree. On one account Boribo Muyuni trees are derived from Boribo mangoes earlier planted in the Cheju valley, to the north-east of Muyuni. Whatever the case, Boribo mangoes earlier planted in the Cheju valley, to the north-east of Muyuni. Whatever the case, Boribo Muyuni now forms a recognisable type, with yellow-green fruits. Like all of the other mango varieties in Muyuni Boribo Muyuni has polyembryonic seeds. Most of these are asexual and produce identical offspring. Isolated sexual embryos can cross with other varieties, producing hybrid trees whose fruits are known locally as Geuka, literally ‘change(d)’. These are, however, quite rare. 25. There is at least one other kind of Boribo present in Muyuni. Boribo Nyekundu is, as its name implies, a variety with red-green coloured fruit. It is very similar to Boribo Muyuni and probably originates from the same immediate stock. Boribo Nyekundu is also referred to as Boribo

Makunduchi, reflecting the fact that these trees are more prevalent in the Makunduchi area. It is likely that many of them were brought to Muyuni by settlers from Makunduchi in the 1960s. Another Boribo mango, also present in small numbers in Muyuni, is called Boribo Pemba, referring to its

presumed origin. Some farmers, however, consider this to be the same as Boribo Nyekundu. 26. Of the different Boribo types, only Boribo Muyuni is present in large numbers and is involved in the current export trade. The trees are erect and upright and thrive in both hill and valley areas, though fruits from the valleys are large and less tasty than those from trees planted on higher ground and in the drier uwanda, the semi-coral rag near Muyuni. 27. Dodo is also widely planted in Muyuni, and like Boribo is well known on other parts of the East African coast. It is said to have originated on Pemba, and been taken from there to Mombasa, Unguja and elsewhere. Records of its presence on Unguja date back to the nineteenth century, though it was possibly introduced earlier. Unlike Boribo Muyuni the trees are round and spreading in shape, although they reach much the same height (around 24 m). Like most other varieties in Muyuni it performs best on the hills. The fruits are typically a little larger than Boribo and have an excellent flavour, though the flesh is somewhat fibrous in texture. Dodo Buki, often called simply Buki, is said to have been introduced to Muyuni in the past 40 years. The name suggests that it first came to East Africa from Madagascar, which is known as Buki or Bukini in Swahili. The tree only grows to a height of 1517 m, though it has a similar form to Dodo, with fewer branches and a more canopy. 28. Chooza is the classic type of the small fruit varieties known generically as Embe dogo. An alternative local designation for Chooza is Amari, a name which appears in nineteenth century records. This mango is more widely known on the East African coast as Punda, originally Sikio la Punda, ‘donkey’s ear’, after the shape of its rather fibrous fruit. Although the fruits are small, the trees grow to approximately the same height as Boribo Muyuni and Dodo, and have a similar form to the latter. 29. Shomari is an old variety of sucking mango, with a yellow skin. It is attested in nineteenth century records for Unguja, unlike Shamwita, a green sucking mango which is said to have been introduced to Muyuni sometime during the twentieth century (estimates range between 80 and 40 years ago). The origin of Shamwita is obscure. It is now much more widely

planted in Muyuni than Shomari. Unlike other mango varieties the small

Shamwita trees (15-17 m) appear to prefer periodic waterlogging and grow better in the valley than they do on higher ground. 30. As we will see below, the relative proportions of these different varieties in the Muyuni mango population has varied over time, reflecting changing farmer preferences and the development of the market for the fruits. It might be noted here that the selection and development of different varieties has been undertaken by farmers themselves, without any significant input from the government agricultural services either before or after the 1964 Revolution.

The Development of the Zanzibar Market Trade in the Colonial Period 31. The first stage in the development of mangoes as cash crop in Muyuni can be related to the interaction of three main factors: (1) increasing levels of production over time, as the original trees in the village matured and more were planted and over time, as the original trees in the village matured and more were planted and allowed to grow; (2) the existence of a ready market for mangoes among the urban population of Zanzibar town; and (3) the conscious selection by farmers of those varieties (especially Boribo) which had the best market in terms of customer preferences and the price which could be obtained for them. 32. For as long as they can remember, Muyuni farmers have traded mangoes to Zanzibar town. We can guess that by the start of the century sufficient mangoes had been planted and come into maturity in Muyuni to provide the necessary surpluses for sale. Older informants recall that

mangoes were usually taken to the Zanzibar market by donkey, which entailed a three-day journey, and sometimes by boat from the nearby coast, a somewhat swifter means of transport. Informants in Zanzibar itself recall that Muyuni mangoes have long had a high reputation among customers in the town. This reputation was well established by the late 1940s, when Williams, noting that Boribo mangoes are considered to be the best variety, remarked that “an outstanding type comes from Muyuni” (1949: 342). 33. It seems likely that the supply of mangoes from Muyuni began as a trickle and gradually increased as the century progressed, as local farmers

planted more and more trees and allowed selected volunteer seedlings to grow in response to growing market demand. The main focus of this trade was Boribo Muyuni. Over time the number of Boribo Muyuni trees increased both in absolute terms and relative to other varieties. It is said that originally Dodo and Embe dogo (including Chooza) were the dominant varieties in Muyuni. This gradually changed, as farmers increasingly exercised their preference for the more marketable Boribo Muyuni. On one estimate there are now around 4,000 mature Boribo Muyuni trees in the area, about half of the total mango population. Dodo and Embe dogo trees make up most of the remainder in roughly equal proportions (each comprising about a quarter of the total number of trees).

Development after the Revolution 34. Boribo Muyuni production continued to expand after the Zanzibar Revolution in 1964, albeit somewhat unevenly. The redistribution of land does not seem to have had a significant impact on mango production in Muyuni. A greater threat came from the agricultural policies of the new Revolutionary Government, and especially its drive to intensify and achieve self-sufficiency in rice production. In the late 1960s work began to develop the Cheju Valley, to the north-east of Muyuni, as a large irrigated rice scheme managed by the Ministry of Agriculture and local government committees. Around the same time plans were made to develop the valley land in Muyuni in a similar way. These progressed to a stage where a few mango trees were cut down and many others were marked for felling. However, villagers actively resisted this development, and the government was forced to back down. Mangoes were already such an important cash crop for the villagers that they were prepared to risk confrontation with higher authorities in order to preserve them. 35. Meanwhile, mango production in Muyuni was about to be boosted by a quite different kind of land use development. Until the late 1960s the

inhabitants of Muyuni focused their agricultural labours instead upon the hill and valley areas of deep kinamo soils. The uwanda (semi-coral rag) and maweni (coral rag) land around the village was also cultivated, though less intensively and with amore restricted set of short-term crops (including

yams, pigeon peas, and other legumes). To some extent Muyuni villagers had shifted away from the coral rag farming tradition of their ancestors from the east coast (whose mabigili, it will be recalled, can still be traced in the undergrowth). However, coral rag farming was and still is the dominant traditional in Makunduchi and nearby villages of south-eastern Unguja. In the late 1960s and early 1970s settlers from Makunduchi began to clear the Uwanda around Muyuni, planting mango trees to establish their claims to the land. At first the natives of Muyuni took little notice, until the value of uwanda was demonstrated. This led to a series of court battles in which the Muyuni people sought to evict the newcomers. In the end the Makunduchi immigrants were allowed to remain, but without title to their land. 36. The net result of this development was that mango production expanded onto the uwanda and the number of trees increased proportionately. Although Boribo Muyuni and other varieties are typically less productive on the uwanda, the trees are both agronomically and economically viable, and, as we shall see below, further planting on uwanda land has continued to play an important role in the expansion of mango production through to the present. Villagers say that most of the uwanda on the outskirts and west of Muyuni was cleared during the 1971-72 famine, and was planted with a variety of crops, including oranges, as well as mango trees. At the same time villagers were forced to sell off most of their cattle. The development of the uwanda in Muyuni has therefore taken place along somewhat different lines from that of Ndijani, where manuring has and continues to be of critical importance to the maintenance of the orangedominated farming system (for more information on this point readers are referred to ZCCFSP’s study of The Development of Oranges as a Cash Crop in Ndijani, Unguja). 37. While production increased in the 1970s, villagers remember at least one major hiccup in the market for mangoes. This is said to have occurred in the mid-1970s, when the Zanzibar town market became saturated and the price of mangoes fell to a very low level. The supply of Boribo Muyuni mangoes at this time appears to have exceeded demand, perhaps because of an over-rapid expansion of production and customer preference for more basic foodstuffs (including expensive items which could only be bought on

the black market) during this period of nationwide economic hardship. Recognising the value of mangoes to producers, the government proposed to intervene by subsidising mango prices. The government, however, had few resources of its own to support such a scheme, and the effort collapsed shortly thereafter. Be that as it may, the Zanzibar urban market appears to have picked up again, and local mango production and marketing continued to develop as before.

The Development of the Export Market 38. Before the mid-1980s Muyuni mangoes were only traded internally in Zanzibar. The development of a wider export market for Boribo Muyuni can be traced to a number of factors. To begin with, the existing position was highly favourable. Boribo Muyuni was already the most marketable mango in Zanzibar. Urban customers knew and liked it, and had done so since at least the 1940s. Production and marketing were already well geared to the local urban market. Production was expanding in Muyuni as more areas were cultivated with mangoes and farmers responded to the market by selecting Boribo Muyuni over other varieties. Market linkages were also improving as farmers and traders gained more experience and were able to take advantage of improved transport links between Muyuni and Zanzibar town. 39. Boribo Muyuni achieved its local market position with a minimum of direct state intervention. As we have seen, the main attempt by the postRevolution government to intervene in the market by controlling mango prices failed. An earlier attempt to promote rice production in the Muyuni valleys in place of mangoes had also failed, thanks to the resistance of farmers. Throughout the colonial and post-colonial periods the driving force behind the development of Boribo Muyuni production and marketing has been the labour of farmers and traders themselves, often working to overcome the various obstacles which government policy has unwittingly placed in their path. Julie, a mango cultivar of Carribean origin which the colonial authorities supposed was best suited for the development of an export trade, has virtually disappeared without trace. If nothing else, the history of Boribo Muyuni and its development as a cash crop highlights the

capacity of farmers and traders to innovate and respond successfully to the opportunities available to them. 40. The most important role which the government can play in such a situation is to help create an effective enabling environment in order to facilitate the process of development. To some extent this is what the

government began to do when it initiated its programme of economic liberalisation in the mid-1980s. From the point of view of Boribo Muyuni farmers and traders the move to relax state controls and open up the markets and other sectors of the economy (including transportation) to private enterprise came just at the right time. It provided the more positive economic environment in which the individual entrepreneurs who initiated the export trade were able and have continued to operate, although, as we shall see, there is still more that the government could do to make their work easier. 41. Unfortunately liberalisation came too late for the majority of Zanzibar’s farmers and traders. There were few local cash crop developments prior to liberalisation which could match that of Boribo Muyuni, and many farmers and traders on the islands were caught unprepared and were unable to respond as swiftly to the decline in the agricultural economy which the drastic fall in world clove incomes by redoubling their efforts to produce mangoes. They already had an alternative cash crop and, equally

importantly, they also had land, the surrounding uwanda, on which to expand its production (the same factors, of course, have also played a key role in the development of orange production in Ndijani). 42. Farmers in the heart of the plantation zones of both Unguja and Pemba have not been so fortunate: bereft of well-developed alternative cash crops and short of clove-less land on which to plant them, many of them have struggled to adapt to the new economic environment and have continued to place their faith in a revival of the clove economy. Given that clove

marketing has long been under close government control, this also means that they have continued to assume that the government has the power to engineer such a revival. Many of the traders on the islands have also

shown little inclination to take risks and innovate, especially in export markets in which they have little or no experience and when surer profits are

to be made from the import trade. The growth of Zanzibar town associated with this trade and tourism has at least created a more vigorous agricultural market on Unguja island and stimulated more cash development than on Pemba. 43. The development of the export trade in Boribo Muyuni mangoes owes a lot to the enterprise of individual traders, especially Salim Fadhil of SALSEF. Before initiating the export of Boribo Muyuni, Salim Fadhil already had extensive trade contacts in the Gulf, having previously traded in a variety of agricultural produce, including mangoes from the north Kenya coast. He therefore had the kind of experience which most traders in

Zanzibar lacked, and he has continued to explore the export potential of a variety of local crops (including chillies), remaining a step or two ahead of most of his Zanzibar competitors. 44. Salim Fadhil sent his first consignment of a few tons of Boribo Muyuni to Muscat (in Oman) in 1987, and they reportedly sold very well. Others traders followed his lead, and exports to the Gulf have risen consistently ever since, rising from 16 tonnes in 1992 to 45 tonnes in 1994 and 120 tonnes in 1995. It is interesting to note that the trade began before the existence of direct flights from Zanzibar to the Gulf. In the early years of the trade consignments of mangoes were first shipped to Dar es Salaam, from where they were air-freighted to Dubai. There are now, however, three Gulf Air flights and two Air Tanzania flights to Dubai every week which can carry mangoes direct from Zanzibar. 45. The initial destination for exported Boribo Muyuni is the Al-Hamriyah wholesale market in Dubai. From there mangoes are taken by road to other local markets in the Gulf including Muscat (direct export from Zanzibar to Muscat is not been possible at present because the Omani authorities have identified Boribo Muyuni as a source of the seed weevil, which it is feared will spread to their own mango tree population). The success of Boribo Muyuni in the Gulf market can be largely attributed to the fact that it can be supplied during the off-season winter months (September to mid-March) when mangoes from Dubai’s principal source of supply, the Indian subcontinent, are not available. Although most of Dubai’s winter supply of mangoes comes from Kenya (around 85%), Boribo Muyuni are preferred by

customers to the Kenyan varieties, which include Ngowa (originally introduced to the northern Kenyan coast from Goa in India). The existence of long-standing links between Zanzibar and the Gulf, and especially Muscat, which is home to a large number of Zanzibari immigrants, also appears to have played a role in promoting the trade in Boribo Muyuni.

Impacts of the Export Trade 46. In this section we will describe some recent developments in the organisation of mango production and marketing in Muyuni, providing a preliminary assessment of the impacts of the export trade at community level. It should be noted that ZCCFSP’s work on Boribo Muyuni and other mango varieties has focused primarily upon the practicalities of expanding production and improving marketing: as a result we have less information on the local consequences of the trade than a detailed impact study would have provided. Nonetheless, we hope that the following discussion will provide some useful guidelines for future work of this kind.

Preliminary Remarks 47. The most obvious question to ask is whether and to what extent the development of mangoes as a cash crop has promoted social and economic differentiation within the community as well as between the primary producing community (Muyuni) and others. There is little doubt that the expansion of the mango trade has led to an increase in farmers’ and traders’ incomes, and that those with access to these incomes have benefited as a result. A series of questions, however, follows on from this. To what extent have these benefits been equitably distributed? Have some sections of the community gained at the expense of others? What other impacts has cash crop development had in this case? Have there been any negative impacts? Can any be discerned which pose a threat to the future development of mango production and marketing? 48. As the last question implies, these are not just academic queries. We should be careful, however, not to fall into the trap which frequently ensnares academic impact studies. This is the tendency to view particular social and economic impacts in isolation, and pass value judgements,

usually negative, on an entire development process on this basis.

It is

fashionable, for example, to think of social and economic differentiation, or at least certain aspects of it, as undesirable. From a purely utopian point of view this may be justifiable, but in the real world it is often difficult to disentangle what we may judge as the good and the bad consequences of development, and even more difficult to devise strategies to maximise one and minimise the other. This is especially so when the consequences of a process can also be analysed as part of its causes. We should therefore also ask what role existing patterns of social and economic differentiation have played in fostering cash crop development. The answer to this

question (and other like it) may guide us in predicting where similar developments might occur, what their consequences might be, and what interventions (if any are needed at all) might be appropriate to promote sustainable cash crop development and ensure that its benefits are as widely distributed as possible. 49. With these preliminary remarks in mind, we will now continue to examine different aspects of the organisation of mango production and marketing in Muyuni.

Land and Tree Ownership 50. According to one farmer’s estimate, some 60% of the adult men in Muyuni own land, 30% farm borrowed land, and the remaining 10% do not farm but work as fishermen or in other occupations. The same informant reckoned that only 30% of women own land, while the other 70% farm land which they have borrowed. Although this estimate glosses over the

complexities of rights of access to land and tree crops among agnates and affines, it does provide a rough indication of the relative proportions of the adult male and female populations which currently own land. It also

suggests that around half of the adult population of Muyuni have no option but to farm on borrowed land (including, presumably, land owned by their spouses and/or other kin). These figures further imply that less than a half of the adult population owns mango trees or is at present in a position to plant them assuming that land ownership equates with possession of trees and/or ability to plant them.

51. Whether accurate or not, however, figures such as these tell us nothing about the nature of the differentiation which they appear to reveal. It may be, for example, that many of the current non-owners are predominantly young people who have not yet inherited or been given land of their own, in which case we cannot say that they constitute a permanent landless class in the community. The farmer who provided the estimates quoted above

observed that lack of privately owned land was a constraint to mango production, because non-owners are unable to plant ‘permanent’ tree crops on borrowed land. The only option open to them, he said, was to plant mango trees on poor quality uwanda land which was still subject to communal access. This statement suggests that there is no landlessness in the absolute sense, but only in terms of the quality of land which an individual has access to. Moreover, and as we shall see below, the

shortage of fertile hill and valley land is not acting as a constraint to the expansion of mango production per se. 52. Mango trees are usually inherited by individual family members, even though rights to the farms around them might be shared collectively by the children of a deceased parent. Informants in Muyuni are unanimous in

stating that the proportion of mango trees owned by women has increased over time. The farmer already quoted above estimated that whereas 50 years ago only 15% of trees were owned by women and an even smaller percentage 100 years ago – this proportion had since risen to around 20%. Another farmer opined that 100 years ago a mere 5% of mango trees were owned by women, that this had risen to 20% 50 years ago, and that women’s share of tree ownership is reported to have risen at much the same rate over the past century and has now reached exactly the same level). Indeed, given that men are continuing to plant more and more

mangoes on the uwanda, it would not be surprising to find that women’s current share of the total is somewhat lower than it is reported to be. 53. The gradual increase in the proportion of trees owned by women over the past century can be explained with reference to Islamic rules of inheritance as they are followed by the inhabitants of Muyuni. The majority of trees were and still are being planted by men. Upon the death of an owner, whether male or female, property, including land and trees, is usually

divided among surviving children according to the rule that the sons receive a two-thirds share of the total and daughters the remaining one-third. The fact that women’s ownership of mango trees in Muyuni is around or approaching 30% suggests that the inheritance rule has been more or less consistently applied with respect to mango trees and that women have not been systematically discriminated against in the division of these increasingly valuable assets (likewise in the case of Ndijani oranges, where women’s share of tree ownership is reported to have risen at much the same rate over the past century and has now reached exactly the same level). Indeed, given that men are continuing to plant more and more

mangoes on the uwanda, it would not be surprising to find that women’s current share of the total is somewhat lower than it is reported to be. 54. The observation that a much smaller proportion of women than men own trees (25% of adult women and probably around twice as many men) is also readily explained. This follows from the fact that men are more likely to acquire private land and trees before the death of their parents, either as gifts, through purchase, or by opening new land. Men are also much more likely to plant mango trees on their land than women, who in any event must rely upon male relatives, employees, or other men to do the planting for them. From this point of view the inheritance system acts as a check upon the over-dominance of men in mango tree ownership, much as it does in the case of other kinds of landed property. Although the 2:1 inheritance ratio might seem unfair from some external perspectives, it should be remembered that in many parts of East Africa women’s share of inherited land is calculated at zero, especially when this land supports valuable cash crops. The woman farmer quoted above stated that the quality of mango trees is not taken into consideration when they are divided out to daughters in Muyuni, confirming the essential fairness of the inheritance procedure. 55. Gender is not the only axis of differentiation in the ownership of mango trees. The majority of mango farmers are reported to have between 10 and 20 trees in full production. There are, however, a significant number of farmers with larger holdings of up to 100 trees, and a few with many more, up to 600 trees on one account. Although we do not have precise statistics to confirm this, it is apparent that there is a small group of large farmers in

Muyuni whose mango holdings are much greater than we would expect if levels of ownership were determined solely by ordinary patterns of variation associated with the family life cycle and other common variables. It seems, however, that this divergence in the size of tree-holdings reflects differences in land ownership which predate the development of mangoes as an export crop, and cannot be considered as a consequence of it. At present there is very little market in land with mango trees already on it. The main ways in which an individual can accumulate mango holdings are therefore either through inheritance or by planting trees. This does not, however, preclude the development of tree sale and purchase in the future.

Management, Marketing and Incomes 56. Although many women own mango trees, their involvement in the management and marketing of the crop is minimal, and as a result they often derive little direct financial benefit from mango production. This

situation is not a consequence of the development of the mango trade as such, but reflects the existing pattern of gender relations in the plantation areas and assignment of specific economic roles to each sex. Women’s agricultural role is largely confined to the cultivation of rice (especially weeding and harvesting), vegetables, and other subsistence crops which are mainly consumed at home. Whereas women may sell small quantities of produce locally in order to make the money to purchase domestic necessities, they generally play little role in crop marketing, are rarely active in the local markets, and almost never travel to markets outside of their immediate home areas. This is men’s work, as is the responsibility for

making food purchases and providing the household with its other major requirements in cash and kind. 57. Mango management and marketing are firmly embedded in this existing matrix of social and economic practice. Women normally play little role in the cultivation of mangoes, the management and harvesting of the crop, and its marketing. The women who own mango trees function in many ways like absentee owners, and stand even less chance of deriving income from their trees (though they and their households may benefit indirectly, depending upon the decisions made by the men who do control this

income.). A large proportion of the trees in Muyuni are in fact owned by people who are physically absent from the village for most of the year, but who live and work elsewhere, for example in Zanzibar town. One farmer estimated that around 40% of mango trees belong to absentee owners, including some of those with larger than average holdings. In such cases the trees are usually managed by relatives and friends remaining in Muyuni. Likewise women who have inherited mango trees but continue to live in Muyuni usually leave them to be managed and the harvests marketed by their male relatives, generally their fathers, uncles or brothers. 58. In some cases, however, women play a more active role. A few

women have purchased their own plots with mangoes, and are thereby able to exercise more control over the management and marketing of their crop. Other women are allowed to play a more active part by their husbands. Some women join with their husbands in planting mangoes. A growing

number of women are allocated plots by their husbands on which to plant mangoes for their own benefit: we recorded one case, for example, in which a man with three wives had given each of them half an acre on which to plant trees. In such cases the husband remains the owner of the land and may continue to assist in management and marketing, but his wife or wives are more likely to receive the income from the crop directly. In polygynous households this practice also ensures that each wife’s children will ultimately inherit mango trees, assuming that there are no other family claimants upon the land. To some extent, therefore, women’s participation in mango

production is increasing, as is the likelihood that they may benefit directly from mango incomes. This change is recognised by informants, though it is described as being no more than gradual. 59. Aside from clearing land, planting and harvesting, mango trees require relatively low labour investments. The main harvesting season falls

between late December and mid-March, with peaks near the beginning and end of this period and a lull in the middle. Harvesting is generally

undertaken by members of the family, especially men and children: as a rule women do not pick mangoes. Usually a man climbs the tree and gathers the mangoes in a kind of net at the end of a long pole (called kishapo or kinia): the ‘net’ is made of an old kipolo of hessian or woven plastic with a

wire extending across the opening and which can be pushed or pulled against the ripe fruits to detach them from the tree, allowing them to fall into the net itself. When the net is full it is lowered to the ground, where boys may help to remove the fruits and pile them in heaps, ready to be packed into open-weave masusu baskets. Women sometimes help to carry these to store. The harvested fruit are then taken to the local buying agents, either the same day or the next, usually by bicycle. 60. The two main buyers of Boribo Muyuni mangoes, Salim Fadhil and Hamdani Hassan, employ agents in the area to purchase the fruits and prepare them ready for collection. Locally employed labourers help to pack and load the fruits onto lorries, which are used to transport them to Zanzibar town and the airport for export. Other local varieties of mango, as well as a proportion of the Boribo Muyuni harvest, are marketed locally within Unguja. There are a number of middlemen engaged in this activity: there being at least six main traders and many smaller operators in Muyuni itself. These traders negotiate various types of rental and purchase agreement with mango producers (including those managing trees on behalf of absentees): the most common practice is for a trader to purchase the fruits while they are still on the tree, arranging for picking and transport himself. In other instances a trader may buy the fruits on-farm once they have already been picked. Mango marketing therefore provides seasonal employment for a number of men in the community, and the opportunities for this employment have clearly increased as the export trade has developed. 61. (For further details of the agronomic aspects of mango production and the economics of export and local marketing, readers are referred to the reports of ongoing work on these subjects being conducted by ZCCFSP). 62. There can be no doubt that Muyuni has done well out of mango production, and it is now characterised as a relatively wealthy community. The benefits of this have accrued directly to men, but only indirectly to most women, whose access to mango incomes is largely dependent on their individual relationship with the men (cognates and affines) who manage and sell the crop, whether the trees belong to them or not. Women generally place mangoes at the bottom of their list of sources of income, which is headed by more ‘traditional’ income-generating activities, including firewood

and shellfish (chaza) collection, coconut oil production, and handicraft (especially kofia) production. The spectacular development of mangoes as a cash crop in Muyuni has so far had relatively little impact upon their degree of financial autonomy and subordinate role in household decisionmaking.

The Continuing Expansion of Production 63. Encouraged by the development of the export trade, Muyuni villagers have continued to expand production by planting more mangoes. Farmers who are sure of their land rights and who have space to do so are planting more trees on the kinamo soils in the heart of the village area. Most of the land available for planting, however, is on the uwanda around the village, especially those parts of it which were not developed during the earlier phase of expansion already discussed above. As the export trade has

developed more and more of the uwanda has been cleared for planting mangoes and other crops. A lot of the high quality and more readily

accessible uwanda land is now covered with young mango trees, intercropped with various food crops. Farmers are continuing to clear and plant the large area of the uwanda to the east of Muyuni. Meanwhile

settlement has expanded onto the uwanda to the western side of the village, close to the coast. Not many people, however, have moved their houses to the eastern side, although the settlers from Makunduchi already live in this area, within walking distance of the village. It seems likely that sooner or latter settlement will also expand in this direction. 64. Young men are the driving force behind this recent and ongoing expansion onto the uwanda. There are many similarities between this

development and that which has already taken place in Ndijani, where oranges are the principal tree crop. As in Ndijani, the growth of the village population and increasing ‘saturation’ of the central farming area has pushed young farmers to seek new land on the uwanda, where they can gain access to relatively large plots of land, without waiting to inherit small portions on the kinamo soils which they can do little with, either because of their small size or because their rights are shared with other family members. This development of the uwanda has been rapid: whereas ten

years ago it was relatively easy to claim uncultivated uwanda land, undeveloped plots in this area are now being bought and sold, and only poorer quality areas of land remain for the taking. This process has no doubt been accelerated by the growing attractions of mango production as the export market has developed. Otherwise it can be viewed as another example of the island-wide development of the coral rag and its gradual conversion to private ownership (which is most effectively established by the planting of permanent tree crops). 65. There is, however, at least one striking difference between the development in Muyuni and that in Ndijani (apart, of course, from the fact that different tree crops have been involved and the sequence of their development differed somewhat). Whereas livestock manuring has played a significant role in the development of the uwanda in Ndijani, there have been almost no inputs of this kind in Muyuni. The number of cattle kept in Muyuni has declined considerably since the early 1970s, when many were sold off during the famine which affected the whole island: most livestock in the village are now kept by the settlers from Makunduchi. At present it is difficult to predict what the consequences of this difference might be, and whether the lack of manuring in Muyuni will slow down down the pace of agricultural development on the uwanda. It will be interesting to see in future whether cattle ownership increases and manuring does develop in Muyuni. Mango incomes, if maintained at their present levels, certainly allow for investment to see in future whether cattle, and it is more than likely that the poor quality areas of uwanda could be improved considerably by the kind of regular manuring which is practised in Ndijani.

Conclusion: Lesson Learned from the Study 66. The following is a summary of the principal lessons which we think can be drawn from this study. 67. The development of mangoes as a cash and export crop in Muyuni was achieved by local farmers and traders with minimal inputs from the government research and extension services. Mangoes are an old crop on the East African coast and islands whose cultivation developed apace with the development of the plantation system of agricultural production. It was

this system which fostered the introduction of Boribo mangoes, while farmers own selection practices have played a large part in the development of different Boribo cultivars, including the excellent Boribo Muyuni which is the basis of the contemporary export trade. 68. The gradual development of mango production and marketing in Muyuni probably owes most to the different consequences of population growth. The gradual development of Zanzibar town provided a ready urban market for mangoes from Muyuni, while population growth and movements in and around Muyuni (from the coast to the present village site, and from this site and Makunduchi onto the uwanda) pressed farmers into adapting their farming practices to different environments – a sequence of developments which favoured and in turn has been favoured by the concentration upon mango production. The role of the state in fostering this process has been both positive and negative: negative in the (failed) attempt to convert Muyuni’s valleys to more intensive rice production, and positive in initiating the period of economic liberalisation which enabled the export trade to take off, driven by the intiative of individual traders. 69. In broad economic terms the development of mango production and trade has clearly had a positive impact upon the local community, injecting income into the village, providing new employment and business opportunities, and fostering a more productive use of the land around it than had hitherto been the case. At the same time, however, it has had relatively little impact on the existing pattern of gender relations in the area, which remain rooted in the past and practices which evolved during the domination of the plantation economy. Women enjoy little direct access to the benefits of the mango trade, even when they are themselves the owners of trees. The indirect benefits they enjoy, in terms of increased household and family decision-making, and many women remain tied to existing patterns of labour allocation and continue to depend upon ‘traditional’ income-generating activities in order to maintain themselves and their children. There are,

however, some indications that women are beginning to play a more active role in the mango economy, though change in this direction is no more than gradual.

70. If the export trade continues to expand, then its greatest impacts are probably yet to come. At present we can only speculate on what will happen in the future. As land on which mangoes can be planted becomes more scarce and its value increases, it is likely that a more obvious pattern of social and economic differentiation will develop in Muyuni: at present it is difficult to assess the importance of this and determine to what extent it reflects recent rather than past developments, and new rather than existing factors. It is also likely that the expansion of agriculture onto increasingly ‘marginal’ land will pose new problems for farmers in terms of the sustainability of production: and it will be interesting to monitor the different ways in which they respond to this.

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