TANZANIA TIMES
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Indonesian firm plans to build Clove Oil extracting Factory in Muheza, Tanga

Muheza, the fruit producing District of Tanga Region may be famous for its sweet oranges, but the precinct is now poised to become the leading producer of clove oil in Tanzania.

An abandoned tea factory at Magoda Msasa Village in remote parts of Muheza. Soon new clove firms may spring out.

The Java based, clove oil producing firm, Indesso, plans to establish a factory to extract oil from ripe clove leaves at the Msasa IBC Village in Muheza District of Tanga, a project set to benefit nearly 1200 farmers in the area.

Slated to take effect from next October 2022, the village-based, clove oil churning mill comes as result of three-year long survey in clove producing areas on the Eastern Usambara Mountains of Tanga Region where historically is where all cloves in East Africa, originated from.

The Chairman of Msasa IBC Village, Aloyce Elia Kibiriti revealed that, a delegation from Indesso visited the area and chose their location for the proposed project of producing oil from the naturally fall-out clove leaves purposely for export to Indonesia.

“We have already secured land for the intended oil straining factory,” added Mr Kibiriti. The proposed project will heal wounds suffered by 1200 villagers who lost their farms when the Derema Conservation Corridor was created.

According to the Chairman, his village was chosen among the seven other hamlets surrounding the Derema Natural Corridor, due to the type and quality of cloves grown in their farms.

Indesso is recognized as a world leader of Clove Oil and Indonesian Essential Oils including their derivatives, and a prominent manufacturer of ingredients for industries such as food, flavorings, fragrances, aromatherapy, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.

Indesso tops global production of clove-based oil

Cloves leaves are also used to make some brands of cigarette, albeit the most expensive ones.

The Muheza District Agricultural Officer, Adam Michael Nyenza confirmed that the Clove Leaves Oil Production initiative started three years’ ago with a visit from the Indonesian High Commissioner to Tanzania, who saw the potential of cloves grown in Muheza District to be of better quality.

“When it comes to clove farming, the Indonesian Ambassador, during his 2020 visit, wanted to create a business link between residents of villages in East Usambara Mountains and traders in Java Indonesia,” said Nyenza.

But it seems Indesso wants to actually process cloves right from source to add value to the exports. The firm has already established a similar project in Zanzibar Islands.

“Which means for the first time we may brand clove products as ‘Made in Tanzania,” said the Agricultural Officer, when addressing members of the Journalists Environmental Association of Tanzania (JET) at the Muheza District Council.

The scribes were visiting the biodiversity-rich villages surrounding the Derema corridor on a special environmental coverage initiative funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

They studied how the corridor conservation may benefit local residents despite losing much of their farming land. Apparently some of the benefits include the soon to start new clove exports to Indonesia.

Sulema Idd of Antakae Village in Muheza Rural Division, drying spices using this specially deviced home-made kiln

Since it is based in one of the world’s richest countries in biodiversity, Indesso has been sourcing its raw materials mainly from Indonesia but as demand soars the firm is now looking into other countries, including Tanzania.

The sourcing process involves local farmers and small cottage distillers, creating multiplier-effects that benefit thousands of individuals.

Clove is believed to be native to Indonesia and was only grown in the Moluccas until Pierre Poivre smuggled the seeds in 1770 and distributed them to other parts of the world.

Now cloves grow in many places including India, Tanzania, Sri-Lanka and Madagascar, though Indonesia maintains the lead in global clove production.

On the other hand, Indesso boasts being the world leader in clove oil and its derivatives, commanding a 60 percent global market share. 

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