Vanilla plantation and production facility visit

Visitors of Marojejy National Park and Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve who will make a stopover in Sambava can take a guided tour of a vanilla plantation and production facility for an insight into natural vanilla cultivation and its further processing into the vanilla spice.

Lemur Conservation Foundation has teamed up with Madagascar Spices to offer a tour of a plantation and their production facility in Sambava.

Along with the members of (The Good Farmers' Coop), Madagascar Spices operates a collective of hundreds of small-scale farmers in the region who practice naturally organic farming without the use of artificial fertilizers or other soil-contaminators in polyculture environments.

What visitors can expect to see will depend on the period of their visit. From March until harvesting in June/July, partly and fully grown green vanilla beans can be seen at a plantation on the coast near the village of Benavony 15 km south of Sambava.

Once the vanilla harvesting is completed, green vanilla beans are supplied by many of FTTV's member farmers via organized trade auctions across several remote villages in vanilla producing areas.

As the latest season's crop arrives at Madagascar Spices' facility in Sambava, sorting, scalding and grading of the green beans begin, followed by several weeks of sun-drying and further grading into different categories and intended end-usages from Gourmet quality used in baking to Cuts & Splits for large-scale food productions.

The period between September and December offers the opportunity to see the hand-pollination of vanilla orchids in the wild, which is best appreciated during the early morning hours when these once-a-year blooming orchids present themselves at their best.

Lemur Conservation Foundation in cooperation with Madagascar Spices can organize guided tours for up to 10 visitors at a time.