Zim to host honey conference

HARARE - Zimbabwe is set to host the fourth ApiAfrica Expo in 2014, with 50 000 local honey farmers expected to reap huge rewards.

The country won the bid to host the prestigious event in Ethiopia last month, shrugging off stiff competition from five other African countries.

Mutandwa Chaipa, Beekeepers Association of Zimbabwe (Bkaz) national coordinator said preparations were already underway for the successful hosting of the Expo.

“Api Expo Africa 2014 provides us with an ideal platform, as stakeholders in the apiculture industry in Africa, to reflect, share knowledge and skills, gain access to markets in and outside Africa, and also to be heard,” he said.

“We are still fine-tuning our strategies for hosting the expo, and we are currently putting in place a national organising team to coordinate all our farmers and engaging all stakeholders. We have lined up mini-expos across the country to bring awareness to the people,” he added.

The ApiAfrica Expo showcase Africa’s honey industry by creating awareness on market opportunities, business opportunities and demonstrating the relationship between beekeeping and other industries.

Chaipa said the expo presents a huge opportunity for the small-scale bee farmers, who will be able to meet with many buyers form across the world.

Over 2 000 delegates, exhibitors of bee products and technologies, exporters, importers, researchers, policy makers, honey trade support networks (private, public, NGOs), development partners, international media, and other stakeholders are expected to participate in the event. Participants will come from Angola, Botswana, Burund, Cameroon, DR Congo, Egypt, Europe, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Middle East, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Somalia Tanzania, Uganda, USA, Zambia and other parts of the world.

Chaipa said Zimbabwe’s honey production industry had the potential to rake in millions of dollars in revenue hence the need for an urgent national beekeeping programme and policy to coordinate and guide the industry to realise its full potential.

“There are no records and no data on honey produced countrywide yet there are mammoth opportunities in the industry because there is a huge deficit of honey,” said Chaipa, whose organisation has a membership of 2 500 beekeepers.

Traditionally, beekeeping has been viewed as an activity to produce honey for domestic consumption only and many do not perceive it as a potential income-generating activity.

However, despite the low production level of honey in Zimbabwe, the activity is quite robust in neighbouring countries like Zambia and South Africa.

In the North-Western province of Zambia, beekeeping has since expanded from an informal activity to a booming source of revenue, where more than 10 000 beekeepers own 500 000 hives, producing 1 000 metric tonnes of honey per year.

Jacqui Gowe, the Bkaz director said through the association local communal farmers were now realising the potential of beekeeping for income generation.

“It is becoming clear now that bee keeping can be the biggest alternative source of income for the smallholder farmers,” she said.

“We are also working with government in a bid to incorporate apiculture sector within the agricultural policy framework because beekeeping also encourages afforestation and thus minimises the impact of climate change.

“Beekeeping can play a significant role in contributing to food production through increased pollination of food crops and cash crops and production of bee products for the market.” - John Kachembere

Comments (3)

a good source of natural sugar for a healthy lifestyle

achiremba - 28 November 2013

Hie I wish to try my hands on Api culture , how can i accesss trainings , my cell 0775 699 285. with kind regards , Moswa.

Brighton Moswa - 9 July 2014

Hie I wish to try my hands on Api culture , how can i accesss trainings , my cell 0775 699 285. with kind regards , Moswa.

Brighton Moswa - 9 July 2014

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