Seychellois entrepreneur to revive plantation industry to export cinnamon, coconut products
The cinnamon business is being revived by a Seychellois entrepreneur. (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A local entrepreneur is preparing to revive Seychelles' plantation industry through the production of cinnamon and coconut-based products for exportation.
The owner of Globarom, Mustafa Harun Bristol, told SNA he is about to restart producing cinnamon bark, essence, oil, as well as virgin coconut oil and other essential oils for exportation.
Bristol, who has been in the business since 2001, has not been producing for the last two years.
“I had so many setbacks in the past 17 years but I am not discouraged because I firmly believe as a Seychellois, I need to revive the cinnamon industry which back in the days our country thrived upon.”
|Mustafa Harun Bristol said he is about to restart producing cinnamon bark, essence, oil, as well as virgin coconut oil and other essential oils for exportation.(Mustafa Bristol) Photo License: CC-BY|
The entrepreneur has renovated and upgraded his distillery located at Grand Anse in the west of Mahe, the main island of the Seychelles’ archipelago, with state of the art equipment and machinery to cater for all production needs.
“We will soon be diversifying and producing virgin coconut oil. We will also be producing essential oils and in fact, we are also thinking of extracting oil from aloe vera.”
Bristol added that the products will be traded under two brands -- Globarom for cinnamon and essence oils and Tropeko for coconut based products.
In the 1970s, plantations were the main driver of the economy of Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean. At the time around 33 percent of the island nation’s workforce was employed on plantations. With the opening of the airport, the plantation industry dwindled and today it is nearly nonexistent except for one entrepreneur who has not given up and is the only business exploiting cinnamon.
The patchouli is another plant which will be exported by the company, and Bristol says that this will be an opportunity for people to cultivate this plant and in turn sell to him.
|Bristol has renovated and upgraded his distillery located at Grand Anse Mahe. (Mustafa Bristol) Photo License: CC-BY|
Bristol says that labour is still a dilemma and is thinking of approaching the Seychelles Agricultural and Horticultural Training Centre (SAHTC) to discuss the introduction of the subject in their curriculum so that the younger generation can learn.
“People think that this is a labourer’s job -- an inferior job as the removal of the bark from the cinnamon is arduous and physical, but through education I want to change this mindset, as our young people should see people involved in this industry as a key player in the supply chain,” said Bristol.
He added that opportunities also exist in the distillery like manning the equipment and doing different tests.
Currently, the plantation products from Seychelles are being exported to Canada, France, United Kingdom, Italy and Netherlands.