4 July 2014

Tanzania: Beekeeping Sector Faces Myriad Challenges

MARKET instability, bad packaging supplies and lack of extension officers in the country are among the components impeding the beekeeping sector in the country.

The exhibitors taking part in the ongoing 38th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) have said, calling for urgent support from the government and other stakeholders to make the activity more sustainable.

They argued that Tanzania has the potential of producing huge amount of honey and wax for export, thanks to the country's endowment in rich natural vegetation.

Speaking to the 'Daily News', one of the exhibitors, Mr Joseph Gasper from Mvomero District, Morogoro Region said that the sector was failing to run efficiently due to the fact that honey and other bee related products had no reliable and stable market.

"We produce large quantity but we are not assured of the market, this impedes our efforts as we end up keeping the products at home and when there is market, supply surpasses demand, badly affecting the price," he noted.

He explained that top government leaders spearheaded campaigns on beekeeping, more efforts remains to be made to exploit the money minting sub sector.

He asked the government to help them access reliable and stable market for their products in and outside the country. Another exhibitor, Mama Sophia from Uyui Dsitrict, Tabora Region lamented about scarcity of packaging material, saying that lack of such materials rendered their products inferior in the market.

She said that getting packaging materials is very difficult as Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO) is the only reliable organisation distributing the materials to all beekeepers in the country.

Ms Sophia mentioned shortage of extension services amongst keepers, saying that the deficiency makes producers to have inadequate knowledge on appropriate keeping methods.

"Most of beekeepers lack relevant knowledge on beekeeping and end up applying traditional ways which are not result oriented," he explained, underscoring the need of posting extension officers to the areas where beekeeping is dominant.

Another exhibitor, Mr Fredrick Daniel from Farida Abdul Enterprises also advised the government through local authorities to set aside adequate budget for developing beekeeping sector in the country.

He said that last year they exported about 24,000 litres of honey to Saudi Arabia and this year they have received an order of 16,000 litres, calling for more efforts to export extra. View the discussion thread.

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