Sumbawanga — THE Katavi regional authority has plans to start a strategic programme of introducing modern beekeeping in Lake Tanganyika Zone.
The Lake Zone is a combination of three regions including Rukwa, Katavi and Kigoma respectively. It was revealed recently by the Katavi Regional Commissioner, Dr Rajab Rutengwe, during an exclusive interview with the 'Daily News' that bee keeping requires minimum working capital yet it yields huge profits.
According to the RC, beekeepers in Katavi Region will now have a reliable market thanks to the launching of a modern industry in Kibaha, Coast Region for processing honey. "If beekeeping gets enough boosts, more people in the Lake Tanganyika Zone will get involved, and eventually improve your lives because beekeeping project does not need a large working capital only three bee-hives can get you going," insisted the RC.
He also encouraged the use of modern beehives instead of traditional logs, noting that the former enables production of huge quantities of honey. "We have 8,234 beekeepers in our region and 97,640 beehives, given the available opportunity, have the capacity to harvest between 8,000 and 10,000 metric tonnes annually and bee wax between 1,000 and 1,500 metric tonnes per year but they are only realizing between 250 and 350 metric tonnes annually," added the RC.
Dr Rutengwe guaranteed 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 the capacity to produce 138,000 metric tonnes of honey and 10,000 metric tonnes of beeswax per year.
Ethiopia leads African countries producing honey and is number eight in the world, with 39,000 tonnes of honey per year. It stands as number four in beeswax, selling 4,300 tonnes per year.
According to the RC, Inyonga Beekeepers Association in Mlele District which has 271 beekeepers was established in the area and is a platform for the farmers to get more education on beekeeping. The newly established Mlele District, with an area covering 28,000 sq km of land, is famous for beekeeping in Katavi Region.