Okwe Obi, Abuja
Bee is one insect dreaded by so many people because of its stinging feature. But beyond that, it also has enormous economic value.
This informed the gathering of beekeepers, processors and stakeholders from over 30 countries at this year’s ApiExpo Africa tagged, “Beekeeping Industry for Wealth Creation, Economic Diversification and Sustainable Development,” in Abuja to harness the benefits inherent in it.
The expo was aimed at opening a new economic frontier because since the discovery of oil in Nigeria, agriculture that was an economic booster took the back seat, especially bee farming.
The event brought together farmers from key honey producing countries including Ethopia, Rwanda, and
Greece who testified that through beekeeping they have raked in billions of dollars and they showcased their technologies, products and services at the event. Chinese nationals, known for manufacturing electronics were also at the event to market beekeeping technologies.
While declaring the event open, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, reiterated that Nigeria’s hosting of this edition of ApiExpo Africa will accelerate the development of the country’s apiculture sector.
According to Buhari, “this national event, which I understand is a veritable platform for the convergence of apicultural thought leaders, international experts, farmers and processors in Africa and beyond for the promotion of improved and modern practices and technologies for bee farming/processing is envisaged.”
On his part, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh explained that beekeeping
produces honey, beeswax, propolis, pollen (bee bread), royal jelly and bee venom for food, medicine and income.
Beekeeping, he noted, is also important for pollination and recreational activities.
He disclosed that, “value of the global business in apiculture is estimated at over $500 billion, comprising honey production, bee wax product and even the venom. But one of the greater services bee renders to the world
is that of pollination.