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Incredible, Beekeeping in Zambia boosts socio-economic growth

27.01.2019
Article from AFRIC Editorial
Like any other nation in the world, there are always some very important economic activities that keep a country moving. Zambia, a country in southern Africa was initially a copper oriented nation, where the extraction of copper was its mean economic activity. However, the copper extraction industry was thrown into jeopardy in 2002, when the main investors surprised the Zambia government of their intention to halt their copper mining activities in Zambia.

This global economic crisis which had grave effects on the economy of Zambia gave the government a push to look for other economic activities which could boost the economic growth of the nation. Today, agriculture is gaining grounds in Zambia as the government seeks to diversify its economy. Beekeeping represents one of the economic activities that has revived the economy of Zambia.

Beekeeping in Zambia

‘’Beekeeping or apiculture is a process of breeding bees for honey, either for local consumption or economic purposes. Honey remains a very medicinal liquid for humans. (It lowers high blood pressure, good for diabetic patients when properly consumed and helps in burn and wound healing etc.) Until recently, beekeeping in Zambia was largely carried out for local consumption by rural dwellers to meet up with life’s demands. The activity generates a huge income to some 20,000 Zambians.  However, the activity has gained momentum in modern-day Zambia due to its international demand.

International demand

Zambian organic honey has gained recognition both in Africa and the world at large. Making its way into foreign Market, China seems to in high need of Zambian Honey. According to Director-General of the Zambia Development Agency Perry Mapani, there is an upsurge in the number of Chinese importers in need of Zambia Honey.

The export protocol between Zambia and China

In October 2018, during the China-Africa summit in Beijing, Zambia President Edgar Lungu together with his Chinese counterpart on the margins of the summit inked an export protocol where Zambia Organic Honey will be exported to Chinese markets, worth over US$34, 000.

Even though the locally processed organized Zambian honey is gaining a huge international market, much still needs to be done to facelift the sector. Momentarily, the Zambia Development Agency in conjunction with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry plus the International Trade Center has fully engaged in programs to revamp the commercial activity in terms of quality and production.

In 2014, a Zambian official said that Lusaka stands to gain over US$12 million from in excess of 10,000 metric tonnes of honey exports annually. But he called for better investment in research and technology. As per reports, more than 30,000 smallholder Zambians are fully engaged in beekeeping. At present, Zambia’s annual honey production is approximately 2, 500 tonnes. Lusaka exports 1,000 tonnes of organic Honey to European and African markets.

The Zambia government under President Edgar Lungu has embarked on a diversification agenda to revamp the country economy, thus commercializing beekeeping due to its internal demand, is already a step forward which will open doors for direct and indirect employment thereby reducing the poverty margins.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

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