Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda, over the weekend inaugurated Africa’s best honey processing plant at Kibaha, Coast Region. With production capacity of 10,000 metric tones of organic honey, the plant is expected to export much of the honey to America, Europe and the Middle East beefing up the country’s most sought for foreign exchange earnings. Our Staff Writer, witnessed the inauguration and filed this report…
There is no way Tanzania could eradicate poverty if it did not indulge itself in introduction of more industries given that all the developed countries we see today have advanced through development of their industries.
The statement was thundered over the week-end by Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda when officially inaugurating a honey processing plant at Kibaha, Coast Region regarded as the most modern honey processing plant in Africa.
“Japan, China, US and other developed countries have advanced because of industrial development,” he stressed stating that after full completion of the plant, there will be around 300 workers at the honey plant to the benefit of Tanzanian people.
At present, he said the industrial sector was contributing nine percent of the GDP and in 2015, the sector is expected to contribute 15 percent of the country’s GDP.
He however advised that the industrial sector and the agricultural sector must function hand-in-glove.
“It would be wise if the agricultural sector will produce crops which would later be processed by the country’s industries. It is good that the honey to be produced in the country would find its way to the Kibaha processing plant which would partly benefit the farmers and the country,” the Prime Minister said.
He said the introduction of the plant was long overdue as the country was the fourth after China, Mexico and Turkey in the production of honey.
He said the country was able to produce some 9,000 tonnes of honey annually worth 18bn/-.
The Prime Minister appealed to local people who will sell honey to the plant not to adulterate it as was the case with petroleum, saying the habit could endanger the marketability of Tanzanian honey at the internal market.
He asked the plant authorities not to order the beehives from China saying Tanzania was well placed to make the beehives by itself.
“I ask you Managing Director of the Honeyking Ltd, Mr Jack Liu not to order beehives from China. We have plenty of wood here. We also have people who can make them if taught,” the Prime Minister categorically told the plant boss.
Beekeeping in East Africa is mostly carried out using beehives made out of logs and barks.
According to the Managing Director, Jack Liu, his company has a beekeeping training bases for local farmers and provides modern beehives to farmers as to improve honey productivity and maintain quality.
The honey processing plant has production capacity of 10,000 metric tones of honey per annum and equipped with art of up-to-date systems of purification and has complete laboratory instruments for quality control.
According to him, the beekeeping activities are mainly carried out in Tabora, Dodoma, Tanga, Arusha, Lindi, Mtwara and Iringa. It plans to deliver 200,000 units of modern beehives to beekeeping farmers in five years which will employ 50,000 farmers and produce 10,000 metric tones of honey annually. Company and farmers’ association shall be formed in regions and districts as to assure good quality and quantity of honey production.
Beekeeping in Tanzania plays a major role in socio-economic development and environmental conservation. It is a source of food and raw materials for various industries and source of income for beekeepers.
It is estimated that the sector generates about US$ 1.7 million each year from sales of honey and beeswax and employ about 2 million rural people for communities leaving close to forests and woodlands.
Beekeeping in Tanzania is carried out using traditional methods that account for 99 percent of the total production of honey and beeswax in the country. Approximately 95 percent of all hives are traditional including log and bark hives. Others are reeds, gourds, pots.
Tanzania is endowed with favourable environment for production of honey, beeswax and other bee products. The country has about 33.5 million hectares of forests and woodlands that are scattered throughout the country and are ideal for developing beekeeping industry
It is estimated that Tanzania has about 9.2 million honeybee colonies where production potential of bee products is about 138,000 tonnes of honey and 9,200 tonnes of beeswax per annum.
The main buyers of Tanzania honey are the European Union member countries especially The UK, Germany and The Netherlands. Other countries are United Arab Emirates, Oman and Kenya. The main importers of Tanzanian beeswax are Japan, USA and European Union member countries.