Lack of research on beekeeping industry is hampering its growth and contributions to the economy and poverty alleviation.
This was said by Dr Mkabwa Manoko, a Senior Lecturer and Acting Head of the Department of Crop and Beekeeping Technology at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM)’s College of Agricultural Science and Fisheries Technology.
“Beekeeping industry has for long been isolated from research on its value chain of production, thus making it of little contributions to the country’s development and society’s state of poverty,” he said at the ongoing industry exhibitions taking place at the Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) grounds along Kilwa Road.
He said beekeeping was still carried out using traditional methods accounting for over 90 per cent of the total production of honey and beeswax in the country. And more than 90 per cent of all hives are traditional including log and bark hives.
Dr Manoko said there have been little efforts to undertake research on the beekeeping industry that covers the whole production process to the end consumers. “Research is an important component in undertaking any project successfully.
Without will power to increase investments on research, the sector will remain small and contribute less to economic growth and poverty alleviation,” he noted. He said Tanzania was second after Ethiopia with highest production of honey in Africa, but could become the first due to its huge potentials and different types of vegetations that support beekeeping. He also said lack of knowledge among players in the beekeeping industry made them earn less compared to what was reflected in the market.
There was need, he said, to carry research on beekeeping, processing, packaging and marketing in order to establish its true market value. Demand for honey as food and as an authentic ingredient in various foods and as a product with healing qualities is increasing. About 50 per cent of honey produced is sold locally for honey beer and honey wine production and about 10 per cent of honey produced are consumed locally.