Project to enable TZ export honey to China

THE Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism through the Tanzania Forest Fund (TFF) is implementing a project for the construction of five modern honey processing factories, which upon completion will place the country in a position to start exporting honey products to China.

According to the Director of Forestry and Beekeeping in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Deusdedith Bwoyo, the factories are being constructed in Sikonge, Kibondo, Mlele, Bukombe and Nzega districts.

“Construction of the facilities is at good stages and we’re looking forward to seeing the factory enable Tanzania to fully benefit from the vast market of honey and other related products in China,” he further said here recently, at a special forum organised by the Beekeeping Value Chain (BEVAC) support project for discussing various issues pertaining to the performance of beekeeping and honey production sector.

Currently, he said the office of Tanzania envoy in China is finalising needed processes and protocols to green-light the country to start exporting honey products to its territory.

“Construction of the factories, together with the number of on-going strategies is to ensure Tanzania reaches the needed international standards in beekeeping, including honey harvesting, preserving, and processing as well as the whole additional value chain with an eye to professionally serve the envisaged lucrative china market,” he unveiled.

Divulging further strategies to help improve performance of the natural-based economic sector, he communicated that the ministry with the involved institutions and stakeholders was working to coordinate for effective monitoring of the areas earmarked for beekeeping activities as stipulated in the ministry’s guidelines.

“We’re appealing to all stakeholders from the private and public sector to cooperate with the government in identifying and setting aside potential areas for beekeeping activities in order to have the sector thriving in desired levels,”

“Currently, there are only 11,235.96 hectares announced in the government gazette as bee reserves. This area is 10 per cent of the goal, we set for ourselves to have approximately 114,000 hectares reserved for beekeeping by 2031,” Director Bwoyo expressed.

He added, to fuel performance of the sector it was encouraging that one of the responsibilities of the Beekeeping Value Chain (BEVAC) support project was to develop a marketing system for bee products, where producers and traders of bee products will have the opportunity to get information on the honey market inside and outside the country.

On his part, the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the ministry, Eliamani Sedoyeka, noted that it was prudent for the Tanzania Forest Services Agency (TFS) to place helpful systems, which will allow close monitoring of quality of honey and honey products in the country, from processing to the markets.

“Along with the establishment of the system, oversee the implementation of existing laws to ensure that no one tampers with or destroys the quality of bee products by mixing them with unwanted items. If you find anyone doing that, let the law take its place,” the PS insisted.

Moreover, he directed the forestry and beekeeping department in the ministry to set a robust programme for the rolling out of necessary education over beekeeping toward the officers tasked to manage the law of beekeeping and other guidelines so that they can perform their duties fairly and not by oppressing anyone.

Moreover, he insisted that the Tanzania Forestry Research Institute (TAFORI) should partner with other likeminded institutions and colleges to conduct useful research for countering numerous challenges facing the sector. “Make sure you apply the latest and recommended technologies to come up with solutions to help increase production and productivity in the country’s beekeeping and honey sector,” he challenged.

Statistics show that Tanzania is placed at 14th position for beekeeping in the world and 2nd in Africa with an estimated to capacity of producing at least 138,000tonnes of honey and 9,200tonnes of beeswax per year.

However, currently, the country has an actual capacity of producing 31,179tonnes of honey and 1,865tonnes of beeswax in a year, which is equivalent to 22 per cent. And the economic sector employs at least 2 million beekeepers

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