Beekeeping is said to be a lucrative business which could earn the economy good foreign exchange rates. However the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) is working to better the industry by cooperating with other parties and providing the necessary training to those who will be working in it. Over the world, beekeeping offers many people a worthwhile source of income with comparatively little investment. The principal species that occur globally, the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, had been domesticated for production and crop pollination. Apis mellifera is widely used in the agricultural industry to pollinate crops or fruits and vegetables. The scope of its pollination services is often measured in the billions of dollars. It has been credited as being responsible for pollination of about 75% of crops around the world.
The number of beehives in the world increased from roughly 50 million in 1961 to about 98 million in 2019, according to current data. Each year, the United States produces honey worth roughly $24,200,000.00, or about 109,799,366.60kg. Tanzania exports roughly 750,000 pounds worth annually, whereas Australia produces 18,375,000.51kg and exports 5,898,313.08kg worth 900,000 pounds annually. In Nigeria more than 3 billion naira worth is imported annually in view of the fact that until recently, beekeeping as a commercial endeavor is generally underdeveloped in the country, despite the multiple advantages of the enterprise.
Venom gotten from a Bee’s anther is used to manufacture products.
Goods utilized in the industry are honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and venom. Honey is a sweet syrupy liquid made by bees from the nectar of flowers and utilized by humans as a sweetener and as a spread. It has 17 to 20 percent water, 75 to 80 percent glucose, fructose, pollen, wax, and mineral salts. The anthers of higher flowering plants produce little male reproductive units called pollen grains. Pollen comprises lipids, sterols, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, sugar, glucose and cellulose, while propolis, or glue, is a mixture of beeswax and resins obtained from leaf bugs and twigs, it is both antibacterial and antifungal. The royal jelly on the other hand is a high protein material that is generated from digested pollen, ingredients include sugars, fats, amino acids, and proteins.
All across the world, the production and trading in honeybees offer the good chances for small scale beekeepers since an average colony produces 27.2kg-45.4kg per year. The market for these goods is developing globally as a result of rising interest in natural components and improving knowledge of the medical benefits and applications of these products. The therapeutic benefits of propolis and honey are currently generating new interest worldwide. Increasing the value of bee products increases consumer access to natural, nutritious, and therapeutic items while providing beekeepers with multiple income streams and more sustainable livelihoods. Beekeeping encourages the growth of related sectors like those that produce beekeeping tools like hives, smokers, and protective apparel. Bees pollination services are also traded and are very valuable.
Plan in place to boost the nations production.
In Nigeria, beekeeping may be a significant source of foreign exchange. Sadly, though, it remained mostly untapped until recently, and the nation primarily imports honey to meet domestic need. The value chain was primarily underdeveloped and most items contaminated. In order to support this sustainable development as an Agrobusiness and take advantage of the rising domestic consumption, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Raw Materials Research and Development Council made honey development a national agricultural commodity development priority. Through the redesign of its value chain, this initiative is gradually increasing the production of honeybee products. Since the beginning of the project, RMRDC has come up with different programs, initiatives and activities, all aimed at supporting the development of beekeeping for honey and other Bee Hive products production for industrial use in the country.
The key component of RMRDC programs is capacity building on several aspects of value chain development. Increased output of honeybees and honey, as well as packaging and marketing that follow international best practices, are some of these. One of the key projects of the Council is the Farmer Training Capacity Building Programme in Partnership with Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development, United States of America. The curriculum was able to develop knowledge on modern beekeeping techniques for improved productivity through workshops and practical trainings in areas of hives establishment and colonies management.
Enterprises in Nigeria substitute sugar for the natural sweetener.
RMRDC has cooperated with Mrs. Ann Harman a volunteer from US to undertake a Farmer Training Course on Queen Bee Rearing Methods in various parts of the country. As a follow up to this, RMRDC in cooperation with Winrock International, organized a training course on sachet honey packaging for beekeepers, processors and other key stakeholders. To carry out a thorough investigation into the marketing of honey, the Council teamed up with Professor Conie Louise Falk from the New Mexico University in the United States. The study found that because honey is so scarce, manufacturing enterprises in Nigeria substitute sugar for the natural sweetener. Research also indicated that this substance is being smuggled into Nigeria from neighboring countries and that consumer’s wanted it to be packed in tiny quantities for home use.
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