ITC helps Comoros spice up global exports of vanilla and ylang-ylang
Vanilla and ylang-ylang producers in Comoros, where half the population lived below the international poverty line of $1.25 a day in 2008, will benefit from an ITC mission aimed at making exporters of the country's two main cash crops more competitive. ITC studied opportunities for the vanilla, clove and ylang-ylang, a tree valued for its perfume in 2009, and will now help Comorian producers and businesses learn how to crack international markets.
A team led by ITC Trade Promotion Officer Ramin Granfar traveled to the Indian Ocean archipelago off the eastern coast of Africa in early December to prepare the outline for a Tier 2 project proposal to develop exports of the three products. They agreed to reorganise and strengthen producers in cooperatives and cooperative unions to shore up competitiveness and enhance transparency, as well as to develop and improve trade-support services for processers and exporters.
The mission was organized at the request of the Comorian government, which last August invited ITC to help the EIF's National Implementation Unit pull together a project proposal. The ITC team are currently drafting the project document, which it will discuss with Comorian partners by the end of the month.
The global market for imported spices and culinary herbs is valued at more than $2.3 million, and least-developed countries such as Comoros earn a sizable part of their foreign exchange from the sale of spices such as vanilla, cloves, chillies, cardamom, nutmeg and mace.