The Lagos State government says it will be training one hundred and fifty women and youths in the art of bee keeping and honey production, packaging and marketing.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Miss Abisola Olusanya who made this known in Alausa Ikeja, at a news briefing to mark this year’s World Bee Day said interested women and youths would undergo a week long intensive training on the value chain from next week, Monday, 30th of May till Friday, 3rd of June.
According to the Commissioner, trainees will be empowered with beehives, bee suits, smokers, harvesting knives, bowls and kegs, to enable them start on an easy note.
Pointing out that the move is in line with the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration’s
commitment to empower women and youth for the economic prosperity in line with THEMES Agenda, Miss Olusanya explained that it would also boost local production of honey, check adulteration and improve the entire honey value chain in Lagos and Nigeria.
“As we all know, the most valuable and economically important product from bees is honey which is used in most homes nowadays in replacement of sugar. Another important product derived from bees is the wax used to make wood and leather polishes, candles and additives in artist’s materials while it is also used in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. You will therefore agree that honey bees are important for food, medicine, and other economic benefits in agriculture.
Today, bees are endangered due to habitat loss (deforestation and de-vegetation), pesticides, bacteria and other anthropogenic reasons.
According to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development the consumption of honey is valued at about #36.8bn. The consumption rate is put at 380,000 metric tons as opposed to the production rate of 15,000 metric tons. This shortfall is augmented by imports from Europe and Asia, thus resulting in a hike in price of imported honey and other hive products, due to the dollar/naira exchange rate”.
Miss Olusanya explained that the role of Bees in agriculture and economic development cannot be over emphasized as they do not only contribute to the pollination of wildflowers, but also to the pollination of agricultural crops and that without bees, there would be a decline in the pollination of economic crops.
“The economic contribution of bees is invaluable; according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) the contribution of honey-associated pollination accounts for between $235 billion and $577 billion of global food production” the Commissioner noted.
The theme of this year’s World Bee Day is ‘’BEE ENGAGED: BUILD BACK BETTER FOR BEES”.