The Nigerian Apiculture Platform has urged stakeholders in the honey value chain to adopt modern beekeeping practices in order to boost production, nationwide.
Chairman of the forum, Ademola Adesina noted that the sub-sector was crucial to economic growth, hence the need for geared efforts towards a modernised production.
He made this observation in an interview with Premium Times , spotting that the production limitation in value chain has impeded the country’s export capacity.
According to him, the country currently produces below capacity as a result of the increasing demand for honey.
Adesina also noted that there was a need to have more beekeepers on board, as a means of bridging the supply deficit.
He said, “Statistics have shown that Nigeria consumes about 320 tonnes of honey every year but the production is a little bit over 20 tonnes.
“More people are now becoming health conscious. More now want to consume honey than previously and the result is that we now have exorbitant prices causing an increase in the prices of honey.
“So (some) beekeepers now see it as an avenue to encourage themselves to produce honey locally and break down prices because there’s a market for it.
“Even by the volume of turnover we have, we are yet to meet local demand. We need more beekeepers, there is room for more beekeeping activity in the country.
“The vast vegetation and the climatic condition of the country is such that you can produce honey from anywhere in this country.
“Our method of production is still not meeting the international standard, not until we move away from the traditional beekeeping to modern bee-keeping, we will not be able to meet the standard expected for the export.”
The chairman said that the industry was capable of generating enough income for the country, adding that it was capable of assisting in the achievement of SDGs 1 (no poverty) and 2 (no hunger).
The industry, in his remarks, adds value to the economy through its intrinsic and extrinsic values.
Apart from honey making, the bees add value through crop pollination on farmlands, he explained.
“About 90 percent of rural dwellers are farmers, and we are able to encourage them, to keep one or two boxes of beehives in their farms, for pollination.
“We allow the bees to pollinate the crops, we have bountiful harvest, the quality of your crops will be enhanced, food safety will be guaranteed and you are now having additional income from honey and other beehive products, so we are able to eradicate poverty, disease, and hunger,” he said.