The West of the Indian Ocean comprises French and francophone islands where aromatic, medicinal and perfume plants as well as spices are abundant, including in Madagascar, the Comoros Union and Mayotte. Only 70 to 300 km apart, they have a high level of endemic species (174 for the Comoros, 40 for Mayotte,more than 10 000 for Madagascar). These “vegetable raw materials” have long made rich countries dream and still do. These islands have quite similar economies, but exchanges between them are limited, and they too often ignore one another.
Ylang ylang, a shared resource on the Comoros archipelago
In the Comoros Union, after an in-depth study in October 2021 of the ylang essential oil production value chain, we carried out in April 2022 an evaluation of the last three years of support provided by the NGO Initiative Développement to the actors of this value chain, with tangible and significant results.
We will soon publish a scientific publication that will be the first complete economic analysis of the ylang essential oil sector in the Comoros, between crises and the search for sustainable development.
We also await with great interest the results of a project to support three cash sectors in the Comoros (ylang ylang, vanilla, clove), which we designed collectively in 2019, and which is currently receiving 20 million euros in funding from the French Cooperation Agency.
Mayotte, from production to processing plant species
In Mayotte, the legal constraints linked to departmentalization have not made it possible to really relaunch this sector, despite the name of Perfume Island that it owes to it. Only agrotourism can save the activity of a handful of distilleries. The local economy is strongly supported by European funding for the outermost regions. Clusters of actors have been organized in various sectors, including aromatic plants and spices, for cosmetic and food use. We have been selected to design a platform for the transformation of these products, an industrial demonstrator with a regional dimension for business project leaders.
I had a great pleasure to meet the concerned actors and their current or future partners, including the young, cooperative and dynamic scientific research ecosystem established in Mayotte.
Photo exhibition project
In 2023, I would like to show a unique series of photographs on the ylang ylang essential oil sector in the Comoros, and I am looking for a partner space.
These quality digital photos (16 to 26 mpx), were taken from 2019 to 2022 with a professional approach. The exhibition aims to pay tribute to the actors who value this resource with dignity, humility and respect for the environment.
Some examples are shown in this article, and a first virtual visit can be made on Joomeo.