CARDAMOM IN TANZANIA

P.A.H. Rijkebusch
In the search for new crops as a means of economizing on foreign exchange, attention has been focussed upon growing the spice cardamom, which is used locally for culinary purposes and constitutes an important ingredient in curry mixtures. Statistics regarding the magnitude of inland consumption, quantity and value of import or of world consumption are, however, difficult to obtain.

The official cardamom of commerce is the dried, ripe or nearly ripe capsules of Elettaria cardamomum Maton & White var minuscula Burkill; the British Pharmacopoeia mentions only the much larger Elettaria cardamomum Maton & White var major Thwaites. All other cardamoms, originating from related genera such as Aframomum in Africa, Amomum in India, and Languas in the Far East are of local importance only and are not in demand on the world market.

In addition to the 'cardamoms' indigenous to Tanzania (Aframomum angustifolium K. Schum; A. mala K. Schum and A. amaniensis Loes.) there is a small plot of Elettaria cardamomum var minuscula in the Amani Botanic Garden; probably introduced into the country by the Germans at the beginning of the 20th century. From this source, the plant has spread over many small-holdings around Amani to become of increasing economic importance to the East Usambaras, partly satisfying local demands for this spice.

Rijkebusch, P.A.H. (1971). CARDAMOM IN TANZANIA. Acta Hortic. 21, 144-150
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1971.21.24
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1971.21.24

Acta Horticulturae