Bee-keeping is Nigeria’s untapped goldmine – Agric official

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The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has described the bee keeping business as Nigeria’s untapped goldmine.

Dr Dooshima Kwange, Director and Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) of the ministry, made this known in Abuja.

Kwange said that leveraging on the bee industry would help earn Nigeria greater assets than crude oil.

According to her, it is for this reason that the ministry is open to collaboration with foreign partners.

“The market worldwide is huge almost 2 billion dollars annually and we are really not tapping into it because we have not paid attention to this industry.

“So when they came, we agreed to tap into it because most of our people are crop farmers so it will benefit them.

“In some other climes, people pay the bee keepers to take them to their farms to pollinate their crops .

“So if you don’t farm yourself and you have a relative that farms and you keep bees there, the person benefits and you will also benefit.

“A barel of honey is about 2000 dollars ,so the APS the benefits as we see them are to get our people to embrace it ,it will improve our lively.”

Kwange added that the ApiExpo Africa 2018 would hold from 25th to 29th of September 2018 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja under the theme, “Beekeeping Industry for Sustainable Development, Wealth Creation and Economic Diversification”.

According to her, the Expo is an intercultural and intercontinental honey show run by an NGO based in Kampala, Uganda.

She said that the event was usually held in collaboration with countries to promote the bee keeping industry by supporting the ministry of agriculture and other stakeholders.

Kwange said that the bee keeping industry in Nigeria was young, even though the business had been ongoing over the years on the local scene.

She said that the government was working on modernising the business.

The director added that the government was also trying to diversify into other sectors of the economy, especially in agriculture, and move away from oil.

According to her, the beauty about the industry is that it is not as expensive as other ventures.

She added that for that and other factors, it would be easy to go into the business.

“It is said that if we don’t have bees, give us three, four years, we will be extinct as human beings because bees pollinate about 75 per cent of our crops .

“So bees are doing us a favour. Apart from that, the other benefits are huge.

“Most people know about honey, but not its other products like wax and others which are used for the production of cosmetics, medicines etc.”

Kwange, therefore, urged Nigerians to embrace bee keeping for it’s numerous benefits and leverage on the market to improve their living standard.

She also advised Nigerians to attend the forthcoming conference as it would be a good learning ground for people interested in venturing into the business.

 

Arinze A/NAN