By MAIMBOLWA MULIKELELA –
THE Zambia Honey Partnership (ZHP) should develop a well coordinated and competitive apiculture sector that will contribute to economic development.
Copperbelt Minister Mwenya Musenge said it was important for the ZHP to develop a competitive apiculture sector capable of penetrating regional and international markets.
Mr Musenge said the Government would support the partnership’s effort to grow the sector by providing an enabling environment.
He was speaking during the 8th ZHP stakeholders meeting in Kitwe recently.
He said the Government was cognisant of the fact that bee-keeping could play a significant role in contributing to food production through increased pollination of food and cash crops and production of bee products on the market.
In speech read for him by Kitwe District administrative officer Regina Katongo, Mr Musenge said the Government had formulated the Industrialisation and Job Creation Strategy, which focused on sectors that were capable of creating employment and supporting infrastructure development.
He said ZHP members should take advantage of this initiative and add value to honey, thus creating jobs through value addition.
Earlier, ZHP chairperson, Munshimbwe Chitalu called on Government and other stakeholders to partner with the beekeeping industry.
This should facilitate the development and enhancement of technologies, sector policies, certification to markets and standards, quality assurance, trade information flow, investment promotion, access to finance and bee health.
Participants, drawn from beekeepers, processors, exporters and relevant Government bodies resolved to push for the implementation of the long-awaited Beekeeping Policy and put in place workable sector plans that will help stir the industry to success.