High residue levels in local honey as a result of pesticides used in horticulture farms is locking out local beekeepers from accessing international markets, Agriculture Ministry says.
In a bid to correct this, Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai says the government has procured residue testing equipment to help farmers adhere to acceptable standards and start exporting honey to Europe next year.
Currently honey production in the country stands at 25,000 metric tones annually against a consumption of 38,000 metric tons, pushing up the prices of honey in the country.
The commodity price is set to further increase after a sharp decrease in bee population in the country as a result of environment degradation and overuse of pesticides.
To this end, the government is urging the local fruit and flower farmers to reduce the use of pesticide as it has been proven to kill bees and also increase harmful residue levels in the local honey production value chain.
Agriculture Ministry says the high residues has curtailed bee farmers from accessing the European and Chinese markets.
The residue monitoring plant will ensure farmers improve quality of their products guaranteeing direct market to European markets by next year.
The bee farmers have been urged to start cooperatives and sell their honey in bulk to eliminate middlemen who take advantage of farmers and also ensure counterfeit honey is removed from the local market.