Beekeepers in the country are set to benefit from beekeeping industry after Chinese investors yesterday officially inaugurated the state-of-the- art honey processing factory at Kibaha, Coast Region.
The factory, inaugurated by Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda, at a ceremony witnessed by several government officials and foreign dignitaries, has a capacity to process 10,000 metric tonnes of honey annually.
Honey King Ltd Director Jack Liu said the company aims at technical training of bee-keeping farmers and producing organic honey for export to America, Europe and Middle East countries.
“In five years the company expects to distribute 200,000 units of modern beehives in various regions in the country, create 50,000 jobs (beekeepers) and generate 10,000 metric tonnes honey annually,” said Liu.
Prime Minister Pinda who inaugurated the factory said for a long time the government has not given much support to the beekeeping sector.
“Some countries like Angola and Burundi discovered the value of honey and wax long time ago and they have invested a lot in this sector and gained a lot of money, we are late to discover this but now we have to put more effort in this area” said Pinda.
According to him Tanzania can produce about 138,000 tonnes of honey and 9,200 tonnes of wax annually if the government improves technology and puts more effort in bee-keeping.
He disclosed that this is due to good environment for bee-keeping in both the Mainland and the Isles.
The current statistics show that the country produces an average of 9,000 tonnes, valued Sh18 billion and 600 tonnes of wax valued Sh3 billion only annually.
He disclosed that organic honey produced in Tanzania contains important supplements that are useful for human health.
Pinda cautioned beekeepers to be faithful by selling quality honey to the factory in order to create a good external market for Tanzania organic honey. He noted however that the home market than external market.
“In the external market honey is sold at Sh 5,550 while in the home market the price is Sh10,000 per litre and therefore this shows that honey market is growing more at home than in the external market” said Pinda.
The Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism Lazaro Nyarandu said in order to improve beekeeping in Tanzania the government is in the process a laboratory for honey.
He said in boosting beekeeping activities, the number of students admitted to the Beekeeping College in Tabora is 62 for the academic year 2012/2013.
Tanzania is among five African countries that sell honey to Europe. The government is currently encouraging domestic and foreign investment in the beekeeping sector.
The introduction of Honey King Ltd makes the country to have eight processing and packaging bee factories.
In October this year there will be honey and other bee products exhibition in Dar es Salaam aimed at promoting and advertising honey at home and abroad, Pinda said.