James Emejo in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated the commitment of the current administration to formulating new policies to drive the developmental processes for the apicultural sub-sector of the economy.
He noted that the initiative will also support capacity building of beekeepers and processors in the country.
Speaking during the opening of the ApiExpo Africa 2018, which was hosted by the country, he said the country is currently implementing the Apiculture Roadmap aimed at transforming the country to one of the top players in the global apicultural sphere.
He said, “Nigeria will continue to support the development of the Apiculture industry at all levels especially in the area of Bee Health to ensure our Bees are protected from harmful pesticides, diseases and pests; and also ensure timely formulation of required policies and enactment of necessary legislations.”
Represented by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, Buhari expressed optimism that the exhibition will thereafter, attract national and international investments into the beekeeping industry and stimulate refined processes for sustainable growth through seamless collaboration between public and private sector players.
He added that repositioning the sector will further increase food safety and food security through reduction of hunger-related malnutrition to meet the 2030 zero hunger; UN & FAO target as well as maintain eco diversity balance through mitigation of global warming.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said the theme of the exhibition, “Beekeeping Industry for Wealth Creation, Economic Diversification and Sustainable Development,” underscored the huge untapped potential inherent in the Beekeeping sub-sector.
He said though the value of global business of the Apiculture industry was estimated at about $200 billion comprising honey production, beeswax and other bee hive products and most importantly pollination, Africa’s share represented a “teaspoon of less than 10 percent despite her huge potential-Nigeria inclusive.”
He said with the present downtime in the oil economy, the country is exploring diversification of her economy with agriculture as the frontline economic powerhouse, for growth of agro-allied industries and providers of jobs and income.
The minister said the Beekeeping subsector had been identified as a low hanging fruit and a major driver in the green revolution taking place in Nigeria’s Agricultural sector.
He said, “Most importantly, government recognises the role bees play in increasing yield per hectare of crops through pollination and its multiplier effects, including provision of jobs in pollination services as well as well-structured production of honey and other hives products.”