PRIME Minister Mizengo Pinda has reiterated his call for farmers to actively engage themselves in beekeeping, saying it requires minimum capital, and yet yields huge profits.
Addressing wananchi in Mpanda and Mlele Districts yesterday, Mr Pinda admitted that currently, the industry faces myriad of challenges, including shortage of extension officers.
"If beekeeping gets enough boost, more people in Katavi region will get involved, and eventually improve your lives. To start a beekeeping project does not need a large capital only three bee-hives can get you going," said the Premier. Mr Pinda assured the farmers that honey and beeswax were in high demand in foreign countries including Europe, the United States and Far East.
The country has enough bees with a capacity to produce 138,000 metric tonnes of honey and 10,000 metric tonnes of beeswax per year. However, it only produces 9,000 metric tonnes of honey worth 27bn/- and 600 metric tonnes of beeswax worth 3bn/-.
Mr Pinda also encouraged the use of modern beehives instead of traditional logs, noting that the former enables production of huge quantities of honey. Ethiopia leads in African countries producing honey and number eight in the world, 39,000 tonnes of honey per year.
It stands as number four in beeswax, selling 4,300 tonnes per year. Mlele District Commissioner, Colonel Ngemela Lubinga told the premier that community of bee keepers known as Inyonga Bee keepers Association which has 271 bee keepers has been established in the area.
According to Col Lubinga, the district has been actively engaged in providing Mlele farmers with education in various issues related to beekeeping, including importance of using modern beehives and how to increase the quality of honey. The newly established Mlele District which area covering 28,000 sq km of land is famous for bee keeping in Katavi region.