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Bee keeping project to reduce import bill

22 May 2023

The P300 000 bee keeping project near Jwaneng is expected to reduce the country’s honey import bill.

Launching the project, dubbed Seolo Apiary on Friday May 19, Jwaneng Mine sustainable development manager, Dr Kegomoditswe Maphane said the partnership between the mine and the community on the project would ensure economic diversification.

He said it was one of the initiatives that they had embarked on in collaboration with other stakeholders to sustain the local and regional economy after the diamond mining era. 

He noted that the country’s annual honey production was not enough to meet the demand, resulting in importation. 

He attributed it to factors such as limited resources, lack of quality bee-keeping equipment, lack of market access as well as lack of support for bee keepers.

Consequently, he said the partnership between the mine and the community on the project would not only bridge the honey shortage gap, but would also address bee infestation around Jwaneng township and its peripheries. 

“It is also a deliberate risk mitigation,” said Dr Mophane, adding that it was also an effort to develop existing value chains.

He said in addition to training and purchasing equipment for the 15 beneficiaries, they would also facilitate market access for the honey and other bee products.

The 15 beneficiaries come from areas around Jwaneng such as Sese, Kaduwe, Mabutsane and Keng. 

He said they would be provided with continuous training, capacity-building, monitoring and evaluation to ensure the project’s success.

He lauded key partners in the agricultural sector for their commitment towards the growth of the sector.

For her part, chief agricultural officer, Ms Margaret Mutakela said she was optimistic that the country’s apiculture value chain strategy would contribute to a sustainable and viable honey industry. 

She said the strategy was intended to increase honey production through protecting bee keepers and creating new opportunities in the value chain.

She also said the strategy was aimed at creating jobs for the youth and women as well as diversifying farming enterprises in rural areas. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Kehumile Moekejo

Location : JWANENG

Event : Project Launch

Date : 22 May 2023