China is planning to import its honey from Tanzania.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Eliamani Sedoyeka revealed the new development at a beekeeping event in Dodoma.
According to the Deputy Minister, Tanzania is capable of churning out nearly 140,000 tons of honey annually, but at the moment the country yields only 31,179 tons in a year.
On the other hand the Minister points out that a country which has the potential to produce 9,200 tons of Beeswax in a year, is realizing just 1,865 tons.
“Our production stagnates at just 22 percent of the country’s potential, this needs another push if we are to maintain supply to Chinese and other Far-East markets, ” Sedoyeka maintained.
The Apiculture industry in Tanzania employs nearly 2 million people involved in beekeeping.
“We recently had discussions with Chinese officials and the meetings are now bearing fruit, with Beijing agreeing to import their honey from Tanzania,” Sadoyeka stated.
Sedoyeka was addressing delegates during a special forum organized by the Beekeeping Value Chain (BEVAC) in central Tanzania.
The forum kick-started the process to support, improve and promote beekeeping and honey production industry through ironing out obstacles that disrupt apiculture.
The Deputy Minister insisted that the government was working round the clock creating a better apiculture environment in order to ensure that local producers adhere to international standards.
Tanzania is already exporting 1600 tons of honey and 1678 tons of beeswax to other overseas markets.
The country is sending its honey and beeswax consignments to Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Oman, USA, Japan, Botswana, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Congo DRC, Somali and neighbouring Kenya.
The industry’s exports are valued at USD 61.4million annually.
Tanzania hangs more than 1,530,000 Million Beehives across the country.
However over 90 percent of them (1,506,345) happen to be traditional apparatus, made from wooden logs or holes curved on trees.
Beekeepers that use modern beehives are very few; in fact contemporary hives account for only ten percent of beehives (equivalent to 23,650 gadgets).
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism is thus working with institutions to help local beekeepers upgrade their trade.
The Ministry is involving the Tanzania Forest Services (TFS), Tanzania Forest Fund (TaFF) and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) to support apiculture industry.
On his part, the Director of Forestry and Beekeeping in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Deusdedith Bwoyo said Tanzania ranks at Number 14 in the World Top Honey producers listing.
The country is ranked second on the continent.
The Director of Forestry hailed the Beekeeping Value Chain (BEVAC) endeavour to support apiculture industry in the country.