New contract signed to support local beekeepers

By Valentine Oforo , The Guardian
Published at 06:00 AM Jul 09 2024

A customer admires honey at the BEVAC pavilion at the ongoing 48th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DIFT 2024) .
Photo: Valentine Oforo
A customer admires honey at the BEVAC pavilion at the ongoing 48th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DIFT 2024) .

THE Beekeeping Value Chain Support (BEVAC) project has entered into contract with the Tanzania Beekeeping Development Organization (TABEDO), focusing to assist the local beekeepers to heighten their performance.

The agreement signed between the Belgian Development Agency, Enabel and TABEDO focus to strengthen the capacity of TABEDO for regular upgrading and reviewing of the beekeeping policy and regulatory framework. 

Speaking to this publication the 48th Edition of the Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DIFT 2024), BEVAC Project's Expert in Result Monitoring, Deogratius Kimena said through the well-developed working sync, BEVAC is working to empower the beekeepers on better ways to produce high quality honey which reflects the set international standards, as well as developing diverse products from the honey they produce, among others.

He said, through the contract, BEVAC have been working to sponsor the local beekeepers to take part in numerous potential exhibitions, within and outside the country, the development which takes into account those involved in the honey additional value chain sector.

"For instance, BEVAC project has facilitated a honey exhibition booth at the Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DIFT 2024, the booth pavilion afforded different actors in the beekeeping," he informed.

He unveiled the actors in the relevant value chain as various business service organisations (BSOs)  in the apiculture sector, such as TABEDO, targeting  to increase outreach and mobilization of actors for steering the sector better. 

"This event plays meaningful role in allowing Beekeeping Training Institute (BTI) to increase awareness of its course with the aim to promote enrollment which aim to increase women participation in beekeeping activities," he observed.

He insisted that BEVAC remains dedicated to the goal of ensuring more permanent ‘dialogue platforms’ and ‘advocacy bodies’ for ‘critical’ monitoring of the enabling environment. 

"BEVAC appreciate the good promotion reported by the two institutions through their presence at the DITF," he noted.

Speaking for her part, the Secretary of TABEDO, Catherine Peter expressed that the development has so far empowered a record number of beekeepers to transform their activities, as well as business.

“Through BEVAC, a number of beekeepers under TABEDO have successfully managed to register their business at the relevant authorities and thus formalize their trades to stand a chance to penetrate their products into potential international markets,” she said.

 Before the contract, she observed that most of the local beekeepers used to perform their trades locally, hence denying themselves opportunity to grow and tapping vast markets available into both local and international markets.

“The smooth development has enabled TABEDO to attract and register more members, currently at least 130, the vital move which signalizes the bright future of the local bee farmers,” he observed.

Speaking for his part, Ayoub Kamwaga, the beekeeper from Kibondo Beekeepers Union (KBA) said the project has assisted him to realize and tap the various opportunities available in the local and international honey markets.

“The project has empowered me and many other bee farmers to start thinking and working out of the ‘business-as-usual-box, ‘whereby currently we’re producing advanced quality  honey, and other relevant products in the value addition chain,” he expressed.

And he added, the project has also imparted them with the vibrant business skills, including how to search, lobby and tapping the vast markets in the local and international platforms, added; “The project has introduced and place us at the sector’s full potential and we’re looking forward to keep on benefiting from various ongoing initiatives,”

The project, BEVAC, is being implemented by Enabel, the Belgian Development Agency through funds from the European Union (EU), and it operates under the coordination of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and it has already impacted more than 4,100 beekeepers and other stakeholders in Tanzania, including women beekeepers.

According to the BEVAC Project’s Manager, Steve Paul, the project is currently implementing two major projects for the improvement of the country’s apiculture sector; worth around 1.2 Euros.

He unveiled the project as construction of a modern dormitory for sheltering women students at the Tabora-based Beekeeping Training Institute (BTI), to gobble up to 1million Euros upon completion, as well as installation of modern facilities at the Njiro International Wildlife Laboratory in Arusha region, at a cost of 200,000 Euros.

With the project, he observed that the vision is to equip the lab with the cloud- connected facilities to enable it to deliver all necessary honey, and honey related sampling and testing within the country.

"We will go far, to the tune of sponsoring the workers at the facility to attend special training to acquire necessary skills and knowledge on how professional to use the modern apparatuses to be installed," he expounded.