Honey production the next frontier in forex earnings

beekeeping moBy Judith Akolo/KNA

Kenya has the potential to produce honey for the export market.

Baringo County Executive for Agriculture Caroline Tenges says Kenya is sitting on an untapped ‘gold mine’

She says all the 47 Counties have an unexploited honey production potential which can earn the country the most needed revenue if well utilized.

Speaking when she addressed the annual Baringo Honey Conference at Kenya school of government in Kabarnet, Tenges said Kenya’s position within the tropics and the moderate climate is conducive for bee keeping.

“If Kenyans can just do away with traditional bee hives like the log hive and embrace modern bee hives like the Kenya Top Bar Hive, this country can realize the dream of being in the top ten position internationally in honey production,” she said.

Tenges noted that it was regrettable that Kenya is listed behind Ethiopia, Tanzania, Angola and Central Africa republic in honey production by Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) 2012 report despite the country’s huge potential in honey production.

Tenges said there is increased demand for honey but little is being done to increase its production. “We have to sit down as a country and plan on how to increase honey reproduction from small and large scale farmers to tap on the increasing demand,” she added.

She urged County honey producers to form cooperative societies to discourage exploitation by middlemen.

Tenges called on research institutions to scale on matters of beekeeping and implement their findings to ensure they improve honey production and marketing.

The Agriculture Executive noted that the County government had set initiatives that will enable honey sector achieve greater success. “One way of supporting our young farmers is to organize them into associations and work to recruit more extension staff to mobilize the groups,” she noted.

Among the partners in the three-day Baringo Honey Conference were Baringo County government, African Union, World Vision, African Beekeepers Association, Boresha, Skyline Sacco and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO).

  

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