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Stories from the Acadian Forest of the Maritimes, the Spice Forests of Zanzibar, and the mangrove forests of Mozambique.

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Spice Agroforestry

From Field to Forest

There is a long history of growing spice in Zanzibar. In fact, the region is often referred to as Africa’s Spice Islands. In more recent times however competing local pressures for land and global market forces have caused a decline in spice farming and a conversion of land to less resilient and less profitable crops. “Spice Forests” create a clear incentive for farmers to transition away from monoculture farming to more resilient and regenerative agroforestry systems that function more like natural forests than farms.

Community Forests International and Community Forests Pemba work alongside the cooperative to attract private sector investment into this exciting new horticulture trade. These steps toward systems-level change through enterprise and value chain partnerships increase the sustainability of this work and a new multi-year partnership with the European Union will allow these activities to be expanded to new islands in the region.

Step into a Spice Forest

Picture a jungle of trees and vines all producing valuable spices—things like cinnamon, black pepper, vanilla, and cardamom. Spice Forests stimulate forest regeneration alongside the production of high-value spice crops, storing carbon and reversing trends of deforestation, soil depletion, and economic decline.


Step into Hamad's Spice Forest
Hamad Mwatanii stands next to vanilla vines and trees in agroforest

Supporting Farmers and Community

Increased yields of profitable specialty crops like vanilla and black pepper contributed to an over-demand for Community Forests Pemba’s spice forest farmer extension supports. In response, in 2019, Community Forests Pemba also incubated the Pemba Spice Producers Cooperative, which is a farmer-led organization that represents and supports farmers peer-to-peer across the island.

Innovation in the Spice Forest

Community Forests International and Community Forests Pemba work alongside the cooperative to attract private sector investment into this exciting new horticulture trade. These steps toward systems-level change through enterprise and value chain partnerships increase the sustainability of this work and a new multi-year partnership with the European Union will allow these activities to be expanded to new islands in the region.


Read More: Lessons in Innovation

People and the Planet

Agroforestry is better for people and the planet. Donate today to support agroforestry and climate-adaptive livelihood opportunities.

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Impact to Date

In partnership with Community Forests Pemba, we have been able to enable thousands of farmers to diverse crops and increase yeilds through agroforestry.

  • 375

    Acres of Agroforestry

    Transforming monoculture farmers to diverse agroforestry.

  • 14,528

    Farmers

    The number of farmers trained in agroforestry techniques.

  • 8,591

    Women

    More than half of agroforestry trainees are women.

  • 83

    Percent of Farmers

    The number of farmers reporting higher yields