President Muhammadu Buhari says the Nigerian Government is formulating new policies to drive developmental processes in the apiculture (bee-keeping) industry of the country.
Buhari said this in Abuja at the 6th APIEXPO Africa 2018 titled `Beekeeping Industry for Sustainable Development, Wealth Creation and Economic Diversification’.
The President, represented by Mr. Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said the government is also building the capacities of bee-keepers and processors to develop the sector.
He said the exposition would help to broaden linkages with regional and international corporations, especially in cross-pollination of ideas and market linkages.
Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, urged bee-keepers and processors to ensure that only the finest standards were applied to the sector.
“We want to support bee-keepers in our annual budget by providing processors with the necessary inputs in equipment and loans even lower than the one digit announced by the CBN.
We believe that we have to handwork people doing agriculture in Nigeria by supporting them with every facility possible.
With the new CBN one digit lending rate, we hope that more people will get involved in bee-farming,’’ Ogbeh said.
In a message to the expo, Ms. Amina Mohammed, the United Nations Deputy Secretary General, said that maintaining the bees would guarantee the achievement of some of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She maintained that without bees, agricultural activities would be in jeopardy.
Mr Olusegun Awolowo, the Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, assured that by 2019, the country would join the league of African countries approved to export honey to the European Union.
Bee stakeholders from 35 countries across the globe are attending the expo scheduled to hold from September 25 to September 29.