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Causes of Irregular Clove Production in the Islands of Zanzibar and Pemba

  • Peter J. Martin (a1), David R. Butler (a2) and Andrew J. Dabek (a1)


In spite of large year-to-year variations in clove yields, production in the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba is often in synchrony and the annual harvests of the two islands are correlated with similar variables. Clove harvests are positively correlated with rainfall in October to February two years before the harvest and negatively correlated with the harvest in the previous year and rainfall around July, and October to December of the year before the harvest. It is likely that rainfall in these periods affects vegetative growth of the clove tree and clove bud differentiation.


Corresponding author

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be directed to David Butler.


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De Waard, P. W. F. (1974). The development of clove loads and causes of irregular bearing of cloves Eugenia caryophyllus (Sprengel) Bullock et Harrison. Journal of Plantation Crops 2:2331.
Khatibu, A. I., Carpenter, A. J., Makame, M. H. & Saleh, M. M. (1985). Climatic effects on the flowering and fruiting of woody perennial fruit trees in Zanzibar. Acta Horticulture 153:4761.
Martin, P. J., Riley, J. & Dabek, A. J. (1987). Clove tree yields in the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. Experimental Agriculture 23:293303.
Tidbury, G. E. (1949). Harvesting and curing cloves and stems. In The Clove Tree, 106136. London: Crosby Lockwood.
Troup, R. S. (1932). Report on clove cultivation in the Zanzibar Protectorate. Zanzibar, 1932.
Zanzibar Department of Agriculture (1930). Annual Report of the Agriculture Department for the year 1929. Zanzibar, 1930.


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