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The Price of Coconut in Zanzibar has Shot Up

The current price of this precious commodity is now selling at $0.64-0.86 in the Unguja commodity market depending on size and retail location, causing a panic amongst the region’s residents. The archipelago’s Minister for Agriculture Shamata Shaame Khamis has noted that the inflation of the price of coconut was brought about by furniture makers, cutting down coconut trees in droves to make furniture, which inadvertently has reduced production of coconut. “When you look to (increasing) construction of hotels, according to information that we get, the coconut tree has increased its value in furniture making,” Khamis told KTV TZ Online. He noted that the wood from coconut trees make for better furniture, which is drawing the attention of realtors. Another problem in Unguja is that growers or owners are harvesting immature coconuts, owing to a rise in demand. The minister also disclosed that the speed of re-growing coconut trees to compensate on lost ones has been overtaken by carpentry demand for such wood. The panic following the rise of coconut prices in the region is as a result of the crop’s importance to the residents. A household in the Ugunja region uses three coconuts for cooking dishes per day. This of course means that the rise of price on this one crop increases the cost of living for the average resident.