THE government will construct a honey laboratory at Njiro Wildlife Centre in Arusha that will be responsible for research on bees and beekeeping.
In a move to engage more people in the beekeeping industry, the government plans to make 5,000 modern beehives to distribute to all districts near forests in 2012/13. The Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Lazaro Nyalandu said that 5,000 modern beehives would be distributed to 30 districts.
Addressing beekeepers and honey stakeholders yesterday while closing a week-long exhibition on honey in Dar es Salaam, he said the lucrative industry requires little start-up capital which can benefit more Tanzanians. Other government plans in the pipeline include increasing experts in the areas of beekeeping at district and village levels.
He said 34 students were registered for certificate courses at the Tabora Beekeeping Training Institute, between 2010 and 2011, who will soon be available in the job market, adding that 63 students are expected to be registered in 2012/13. "I am calling upon district councils to employ these trained beekeepers so that they can help the public with issues pertaining to beekeeping," he explained.
To ensure that the demands of European Union market are met, the ministry is implementing a programme to control chemical residues from honey and issues out an annual report to EU member states. "This is an important step for any country with an intention of accessing the EU market to sell honey.
Tanzania is one of five African countries allowed to sell honey to the EU market," Mr Nyalandu noted. Other countries are Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia and Cameroon. The deputy Minister assured the participants that his ministry will continue to work together with all stakeholders in the beekeeping industry to ensure the public benefits from the industry's products, including alleviating poverty.
The Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TANTRADE) Acting Director Ms Jacqueline Maleko said the Authority is preparing a strategy that will ensure each council evaluates the honey produced, to ensure that beekeepers benefit in accordance with products produced.
"Tantrade is also preparing another special programme that will allow for leaders to bet educated on the benefits of honey for their health," Ms Maleko explained. This year's exhibition theme was 'Honey for Health and Prosperity.' Ms Maleko revealed that the next honey exhibition will be held in 2014, urging for increased quality in honey and its products, noting that the authority will bring more stakeholders from around Africa.