BY STEVE EPHRAEM
HONEY products cannot qualify for export market if farmers don’t adhere to standards, this publication can reveal.
This came out at a bee husbandry training workshop which was held recently at De Plaza Lodge in Chipinge courtesy of Chipinge Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The workshop was attended by entrepreneurs from Chipinge and was contacted by the director of MacJohnson Apiaries, Ishmael Sithole. MacJohnson Apiaries is an award winning producer and exporter of honey products in Manicaland.
In his opening remarks, Mr Sithole discouraged people from engaging in acts of violence since bee production does well in peaceful environments. He also outlined that violence can destroy other forms of business as well.
On the bee keeping business, Mr Sithole indicated that the business line can generate revenue from other products apart from honey itself.
“A lot of business people are not investing in beekeeping following a the little revenue they are generating right now. I want to honestly tell you that our problem lies with poor to no standards that most bee farmers are maintaining.
“Bee keeping as a business is different from beekeeping for forest protection. As a business, the trade requires standards to be maintained. This calls for proper training and purchase of proper equipment.
“Bee keeping as a business does not focus on honey sales only but diversity in other services such as apiturism, pollination services, swarm relocation services and breeding or queen rearing services,” he said.
The director encouraged farmers to do organic bee keeping business with export in mind so that they can produce quality honey which brings foreign currency.
The chairperson for Chipinge Chamber of SMEs, Violet Banda encouraged entrepreneurs to attend workshops which the chamber is coordinating.
“Business is all about making profits. A lot of business is not making reasonable profit because people are not maintaining standards as well as networking. Networks are generated during our workshops,” said Banda.