Located in the north-eastern part of Madagascar, the city of Sambava is one of the most popular tourist spots in the SAVA region, or even in the province of Antsiranana. Located at the mouth of 3 rivers, it is also a crossroads between its three neighboring cities, namely Vohemar 153 km north, Antalaha 89 km south and Andapa 109 km to the west. Thanks to its warm and humid climate, Sambava is known for its important vanilla plantations whose quality is internationally recognized. This very quiet little town is also famous for hosting La Cocoteraie de la Soavoanio of 4,700 Ha considered as one of the largest coconut plantations in the world.
Get to know this fabulous plant
While staying in Sambava, you will be led to discover the mysteries and history of this fragrant plant. For information, vanilla is a spice made up of the fruit of a tropical lianascent orchid of Mesoamerican origin. More than 110 species have been recorded, but only 3 of them are cultivated because they possess the desired aromatic qualities; namely Vanilla planifolia, Vanilla pompona and Vanilla tahitensis. In Madagascar, vanilla planifolia is the most cultivated because it has a sweet and incomparable fragrance. To make this vanilla much more resistant to disease, IRAT researchers have created more resistant hybrid varieties with a high vanillin content called "Manitra Ampotony" and "Tsy Taitry".
Overview of vanilla processing techniques in Sambava
When you visit the Vanilla Cooperatives in Sambava, the producers of this scented spice will tell you the techniques relating to the treatment of the plant. To grow, vanilla must be grown in a warm and humid climate for 2 to 3 years. In general, it flowers between August and the following January and is then harvested from May to August. Then she undergoes a first stage of preparation for about 2 months. Follow each other after sorting, scalding, parboiling and drying. Finally, vanilla goes through a final stage consisting of refining, dressing, grading, measuring and packaging.