….as Lagos decries low production rate
As demand for honey continues to rise, indications Friday emerged that Nigerians consume 380,000 metric tons of honey worth N36.8 billion annually, even as the Lagos State Government called for the need to encourage beekeeping for massive honey production.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, who disclosed this, said that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, who gave the figure on the consumption rate, said that most of the honey consumption was imported from Europe and Asia.
Briefing journalists on the World Bee Day, the commissioner, said that only 15,000 metric tons are produced locally, adding that the shortfall in the demand and supply of honey was responsible for the massive importation from Europe and Asia, which, she said, necessitated the hike in price of imported honey due to the exchange rate.
She described the 2022 World Bee Day themed: “Bee Engaged: Build Back Better for Bees” as apt, saying that by the theme, the United Nations is focusing on the threats of protection posed by COVID-19 to bees, other pollinators and their inhabitants.
To bridge the production and demand gap, she added that the administration of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has put in place arrangements to train 150 women and youths in the art of bee keeping and honey production, packaging and marketing.
The Commissioner explained that beekeeping has an invaluable economic contribution according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) the contribution of honey-associated pollination accounts for between $235 billion and $577 billion of global food production.
She added that interested applicants had picked up the application forms and successful candidates would undergo a week-long intensive training on the value chain from Monday, May 30 till Friday, June 3.
Olusanya assured that trainees would be empowered with beehives, bee suits, smokers, harvesting knives, bowls and kegs, to enable them start on an easy note, adding that at the end of the training it is expected the trainees will understand and appreciate the importance of bees and beekeeping.