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African nations urged to embrace modern beekeeping techniques

ARUSHA, Tanzania, (Xinhua) -- African nations need to embrace modern beekeeping techniques to boost the sector that plays an imperative role in addressing poverty, Tanzania’s Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda told the first Apimondia Symposium on African Bees and Beekeeping 2014.

The meeting which kicked off here on Tuesday brought on board hundreds of beekeepers, researchers, government officials from across Africa and the world at large.

Outlining countless benefits embedded in the beekeeping sector from economic to cultural and social perspectives, the Prime Minister said that modern beekeeping techniques is highly needed to transform the untapped sub-sector.

Pinda said most of the African beekeepers still use traditional ways of farming hence ended up getting peanuts and continue ravaging in the jungle of poverty, as what they harvest cannot get into larger markets.

“One of the traditional beehives can produce two to five liters of honey per year, the amount which is very low compared to the modern one which can produce 40 to 60 liters of honey annually,” he said, adding that it is high time for African nations to embrace technology in beekeeping for the region to benefit out of the sector which is friendly to the environment.

He outlined some of the potential markets for African honey as China, Russia, the United States, European countries, Mexico, Argentina, Canada, Australia and Brazil.

“The demand of honey in those nations remained high and Africa should tap that market,” he said.

“As a continent, we stand in a very good position to explore the market abroad as we have large forested land the situation that would make our honey the best in the world,” the Tanzanian official told the gathering.

He said right now Tanzania ranks number two after Ethiopia in Africa for producing quality honey, producing about 34,000 tonnes of honey annually.

Pinda said Tanzania has hectares and hectares of forested land hence if heavily utilized the country will be the leading in the near future.

He said Tanzania is determined to increase production of honey in the next two years as experts have projected that Tanzania have a chance of producing 138,000 tonnes of honey and 9,200 tonnes of wax annually in the next few years.

The international market demand of honey is expected to grow to 1.9 million tonnes worth 12 billion U.S. dollars by 2015.

The symposium is themed “African Bees for a Green and Golden Economy” and is aimed at improving beekeeping industry in Africa and developing counties for the welfare of rural people.

The symposium was organized by the Tanzanian government in collaboration with the International Federation of Beekeeper’s Associations.

“The country’s prospect is to share experiences and technical knowledge on how to develop beekeeping in Africa in order to improve the livelihood of communities involved in beekeeping especially in rural areas,” said Lazaro Nyalandu, Tanzania’s Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism.


African countries urged to introduce laws on factoring business

LUSAKA, (Xinhua) -- African legislators and regulators should assist African businesses in taking advantage of the benefits of factoring by creating enabling environment for the flourishing of the instruments, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) said in a statement obtained by Xinhua on Monday.

Benedict Oramah, the bank’s vice-president in charge of business development and corporate banking said that the legislators and regulators had a role to play in developing appropriate enabling laws to allow factoring business to flourish on the continent.

And Jean-Louis Ekra, the bank’s president said the absence of enabling laws and regulations was an important impediment to the expansion of factoring in Africa and had significant negative implications on the ability of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to participate in the continent’s gradually expanding value chain.

“If we want SMEs to form the bulk of the new Africa we are all looking forward to, we must work towards expanding factoring in the continent,” he said in the statement released after a meeting held in Lusaka, the Zambian capital on factoring.

According to him, Africa was becoming the next frontier for factoring business with recent socioeconomic developments, adding that despite volumes being significantly lower than that in other regions (only one percent of the global total), the volume of factoring business in Africa had risen four folds from about 5 billion euros in 2000 to about 23 billion euros in 2012.

Factoring is a trade finance tool under which a seller assigns his receivables (invoice) on a transaction to a factor who pays him an agreed value. The factor assumes ownership of the receivables and then collects the actual payment for the service/ product from the buyer.

The tool was important because it helps businesses that were performing well to gain access to credit without having to offer collateral or provide security other than the receivables generated in the normal course of their businesses.

Afreximbank is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra-Africa trade. Since 1994, the bank has approved 30 billion U.S. dollars in credit facilities for African businesses, including about 3.5 billion dollars in 2013.



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