THE government intends to establish beekeepers cooperative societies in ten regions, as one of the strategies for producing enough quality honey to meet local and international standards.
According to the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Hamisi Kigwangala, the government would, during the 2019/2020 financial year. set up 10 honey processing factories in at least one district of the regions.
He was speaking during the commemoration of World Bee Day which was celebrated at the national level in Dodoma Region and was graced by former Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda.
The thrust of the day is to acknowledge the role of bees and other pollinators in the ecosystem. Tanzania marked the day for the first time since The United Nations member states approved Slovenia’s proposal to proclaim 20 May as World Bee Day at a meeting held in December 2017.
Dr Kigwangala said the government’s decision to establish beekeepers’ cooperative societies and honey processing factories was aimed at creating markets for locally produced honey in the rest of the world.
“We need to have a national movement for bee keeping in order to improve the country’s market by helping our businesspeople to improve honey processing and packaging,’’ he said.
Mr Pinda commended the government’s move, saying it would help to transform the sector. The former premier, a leading beekeeper, underscored the need for intensifying efforts in honey production, as it was crucial to the transformation of the country’s economy.
He said the country’s projected annual production capacity for honey and royal jelly was, respectively, 138,000 tonnes of honey and 9,200 tonnes, but was currently producing 4,800 and 324 tonnes.
“We still have a huge gap to fill compared to the opportunity we have and 90 per cent of the honey we produce is consumed locally, exporting only 10 per cent that yields two million US dollars, ’’ he said.