Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has lamented that inadequate production volume of honey as well as strict sanitary requirements were responsible for the poor exportation of Nigerian honey especially to the European market.
Speaking in Makurdi, the Benue State capital on Friday, Zonal Controller in charge of Makurdi Zonal office, Mr. Anani Ben-Egon maintained that strict sanitary requirements to guarantee the safety of honey for human health had continued to restrict Nigerian Honey from be exported to European market.
Ben-Egon stated this at a one day Export Sensitization and Capacity Building seminar organised by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) in conjunction with the Benue State Bee Keepers Association held in Makurdi.
He noted that the global honey trade is worth $240 billion with the China maintaining the lead as world exporter with 11.3℅ of global export of natural honey in 2017 worth Uss 270.7million.
The Zonal Controller expressed optimism that the continuous engagement with product/industry associations, farmers groups and other relevant stakeholders would enhance the production of honey in the country that would be suitable for export to EU market.
He explained that the Apiculture Value chain export development program is line with the initiative of the Nigerian Apiculture platform with the objective of fostering development of the sector,by supporting the beekeepers and processors with the necessary inputs, required policies to drive the development processes for the industry.
Also speaking, state coordinator, National Committee on Export Promotion and Benue Exporters Cluster, Dr. Lawrence Barki thanked NEPC for training the bee farmers on how they can produce quality honey that can be exported to Europe.
He posited that the time is now to encourage Bees’ farmers in Nigeria in line with the Federal Government diversification policy on the development of non oil sector of the nation’s economy.
Country representative of Koster Keunen, Mohammed Bala in his paper presentation titled, “Development of secondary Raw materials for Bee Combs(Wax), explained that Bee wax hold numerous significance as it can be use in both cosmetics and medical industry.
He said honey was a big commodity in the European market and urged the farmers to tap into it by cultivating the habit farming bees at all times.
Another Bee development expert, Mr. Annyon Desmond, who spoke on the topic, “Development of Honey Bee Products for Export, stated that Beekeeping has a vast potential to boost Nigeria’s export base hence the need to tap into it as an alternative source of national revenue apart from crude oil.