The government is apparently working with the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) to develop a coherent policy framework for our growing bee farmers - the emphasis is on eliminating key coordination failures among farmers. Excerpt:
Bee farmers earn slightly more than $3,000 for a tonne of honey and beeswax on the international market. The Zambian government believes raising bees would help pull more people out of poverty.
Authorities say current forestry policy is supposed to make resources available for bee keeping and honey making. But they say the policy is outdated and the Department of Forestry is working with CIFOR to come up with new guidelines.
CIFOR’s Regional Coordinator for Eastern and Southern Africa, Crispen Marunda said on Friday, the bee keeping industry is loosely organized. He said there are no legal or legislative structures to monitor or control the industry.
He explained that monitoring mechanisms would help farmers and government negotiate fair prices and markets for honey-related products. He said an official policy would have a meaningful effect on forest communities that raise bees and related products.
Marunda said: “By coming up with a bee keeping industry policy, the government will have a structure in terms of how government can support the different institutions who are producing, exporting or buying honey. The Bee Keeping Policy will also assist some communities into some kind of bee keeping communities. The communities can have an institution at a local level, they can market their honey as a group, they can lobby for better prices, and they can export their honey as a group rather than them working as individuals.”