Tanzania Forest Services Agency (TFSA) officers have been told that they have a big role to educate farmers engaged in beekeeping to prevent bees from using tobacco flowers in production of honey.
This was revealed on Monday by Natural Resources and Tourism deputy minister Lazaro Nyarandu at the launch of a new advisory board for the TFSA.
“Most of the farmers and beekeepers in areas where tobacco is grown and in places where honey production is conducted do not understand the effects of nicotine toxin in honey production,” he said.
“Make sure you use the knowledge you have to educate people on this issue and stop them from cultivating tobacco in areas where beekeeping activities are conducted. This would prevent bees from using tobacco flowers in polluting honey with nicotine toxin,” he said.
“As deputy minister, my focus is just to help the beekeepers boost their economic fortunes considerably and increase exports of honey and beeswax production to the global market,” he noted.
“Although tobacco is one of the major agricultural export crops, and is the main source of household income in areas where tobacco is grown, beekeeping extension and forests officers should take steps to separate operations of the two economic activities to eliminate the risks of losing foreign currency,” he said.
Presently, Tanzania has a good environment for producing bee products because there are many nectar-producing plants and pollen that attract honeybees.
In addition, honey produced in Tanzania is said to be of high quality and pure at its source and has been fetching high price in domestic and global markets.
Honey is a key ingredient in food and medicine and is also used in the production of variety of products such as beer and honey wine.