Ngilu’s government to team with key stakeholders to promote bee keeping for wealth creation and environmental conservation
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
By Steve Mumbu and The CD Reporter
Kitui honey is reputedly one of the best in the world, yet the bee keepers in the county totalling to about 3,000 with an estimated 30,000 hives and having the potential to produce an estimated 300 tonnes of honey per each season have not been getting value for their sweat.
Due to this reason, Kitui Governor Her Excellency Charity Ngilu has set the enhancement of Kitui Honey Value Chain as one of her top value chains.
This was revealed by Value Chain specialist Dr. Temi Mutia in the Office of the Governor during a one day Honey Value Chain Stakeholders forum that brought together beekeepers, hive specialists, NGOs, Kitui based banks, National Bee Keeping Station and officials from the County Government of Kitui.
Under Ms Ngilu’s 1st pillar on food and 5th pillar on wealth creation, Dr. Temi further stated that intensive applied capacity development is soon going to be rolled through which bee farmers, hive and equipment manufacturers will be trained at SEKU with specialized queen rearing skills and research being jointly offered by a consortium of experts drawn from the National Bee Keeping Station, African Beekeepers Limited (ABL) and KEFRI.
Speaking at the same forum, Mr. Ernest Simeoni the founder and CEO of ABL which has been in the honey business for the last 25 years said the people of Kitui should not only see bees as a source of honey but must see bees as the greatest pollinators of the food we grow. Mr. Simeoni who is a bee farmer with 800 hives in Nairobi said that his company is more than willing to partner with farmers in Kitui on queen rearing, honey production, royal jelly production, propollis, bee wax and bee venom.
Addressing the same function Mr Eliud Nkunja of Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), the conveners of the forum affirmed that their organization is ready to partner with Kitui Beekeepers, The County Government and other stakeholders to promote bee keeping in the county to its required standards.