Experts in apiculture industry in Nigeria have lamented that at least $2bn is spent annually on the importation of bee to beef up the shortfall in local production.
The experts said that the national production of honey stood at 38, 000 tonnes annually as against the country’s consumption of 380, 000 tonnes, representing a shortfall of 90 per cent.
A member of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Honey Production, Bee Health and Pollination Services in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr David Musa, said the gap of about 340,000 tonnes amounted to $2bn which is spent on import.
He made this disclosure at Ikom in the Central Senatorial District of Cross River State, during an event to mark the World Honey Bee Day sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development and a Canadian non-profit organisation, Cuso International.
Musa said, “The economic prospect of the apiculture industry is high as the global annual production of raw honey is 1.4 million tonnes, valued at current global rate of $5, 000 per metric. This amounts to $7bn or N120bn.
“For now, Nigeria does not produce enough honey for national consumption. The country’s national consumption of honey is about 380, 000 tonnes annually while the national production is not up to 10 per cent or 38, 000 tonnes. There is the gap of almost 340, 000 tonnes or at least $2bn which is spent on import.”
He said that the Nigerian Apiculture Vision and Mission was to key in the reduction of importation of honey by 50 per cent within two years and possibly halt its importation by five years.
Musa urged the government to stimulate investment in the honeybee sector and expose bee-keepers to trade platforms in order to improve bee farming in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of Cross River State Tourism Bureau, Mr Clement Umina, said the state was ready to key into the apiculture sector.