Speaking during a day long session on the National Apiculture Platform for Malawi – NAPM, Director of Animal Health and Livestock Development Dr Patrick Chikungwa in the Ministry said bee keeping has the potential of economic transformation on household and national levels.
Dr Chikungwa however said uncoordinated, unregulated and quality uncertified products have dragged the progress of the bee sector’s growth.
“There is need for stakeholders in the sector to share experiences, policy issues, right equipment for the sector, issues of certification and marketing if the bee sector is to grow and realize its full potential,” explained Dr Chikungwa.
Professor Kenneth Wiyo, a researcher and bee farmer said bee keeping has the potential to replace tobacco farming and help Malawi recover from the shock of deforestation.
“In dollar terms, bee keeping is a more lucrative industry than tobacco by far. On top of honey, bee keeping also produces other products such as wax, royal jelly for medicinal purposes, lotions and also as useful agents in agriculture in pollination and thereby increasing yields and food security,” said Wiyo.
Meanwhile the Malawi Bureau of Standards has come up with a gold standard for honey producers and marketers in order to ensure that only quality products in the sector find themselves to the market.