KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
Agriculture experts have called on African
governments to support farmers to increase their incomes through
beekeeping and commercial honey production.
The experts made the
remarks on Wednesday during the opening of the 5th
All-Africa International Honey Exposition and the 3rd
Continental General Assembly (GA) of the African Apiculture
Platform (APP) in the Rwanda Capital Kigali.
The small central
African country hosts the continental forum from September 21 to
26, with a focus on promoting beekeeping as a commercial
enterprise for smallholder farmers across the continent.
meeting and exhibition organized by ApiTrade Africa, and Rwanda
National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), is held
under the theme: “Driving socio-economic transformation in
Africa: The role of commercial bee-keeping”.
ApiTrade Africa is
an NGO that specializes in developing trade in bee products from
governments battle poverty and unemployment, should consider
supporting beekeeping and honey production to raise farmers’
incomes and employment creation,” said Bosco Okello, chief
executive, ApiTrade Africa.
He emphasized on
increasing incomes for beekeepers in Africa through increasing
productivity, organizational strengthening and enhancing
participation in the honey value chain.
enable farmers to generate more income through higher yields and
possibly become a secondary source of income through the
production of honey,” Okello noted.
The conference has
brought together beekeepers, honey dealers, agriculturists,
government officials and development partners from across Africa
and beyond to discuss and share knowledge on trade and business
related approaches, promote apiculture and demonstrate how
commercial beekeeping drives socio-economic transformation.
According to George
William Kayonga, chief executive NAEB, Honey Exposition forum is
expected to improve global market linkages of bee products’
suppliers, promote bee-keeping as a source of employment and
honey for exports.
“We are looking at
boosting beekeeping as a source of employment that generates
household income and a commercial venture for farmers. Working
with both traditional beekeepers and smallholder farmers, will
enable them to access soft loans, training, and markets
necessary for farmers to start their own profitable beehives,”
Apiculture has been
practiced for many years through successive generations and
along inherited patterns in many African countries as
traditional activity and non-commercial nature where honey, the
main product, was being used as a food product, medicine and for
brewing traditional liquor.
Nouala, chief animal production officer, African Union-Interafrican
Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), called on bee-keepers to
increase their production, citing the high demand for not only
honey but also its byproducts.
should encourage and support local honey producers to shift away
from the traditional way of beekeeping and adopt more modern
techniques for higher yield,” he said.
Honey is the most
popular natural sweetener globally and the global trade in bee
products is worth millions of dollars every year.
Africa consumes more
than three times the amount of honey it produces. Countries like
Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Tanzania produce most
of the continent’s honey, according to the Common Market for
Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa).