So we told you all about the vanilla plant last week but do you know how vanilla fits into farming? It is the reason we at Natural Extracts Industries are so excited to be partnering with Tanzanian farmers to introduce it to their farms!
The smallholder farmers we work with grow lots of other things on their farms like bananas, coffee or sugar cane. Vanilla is planted between and around these existing plants because it doesn’t need a lot of space and it enjoys the shade! In the picture you can see how the vanilla vine is planted below a banana plant. This is called intercropping and it is great for the farmer and the environment in many ways!
Intercropping allows the farmer to produce a greater yield from their farms and earn extra income, this also makes it a smart environmental practice. Vanilla needs the shade of larger plants to grow, this means planting it discourages deforestation. That’s good news because many of the farmers we work with live on the edges of national parks. The environmental buffer zones around the parks are preserved because of the vanilla and Tanzania’s wildlife is better off!
So now you can see why we love farming vanilla! It is great for everyone involved and the environment! Let us know if you have any more questions about farming vanilla!