Beekeeping and honey production are significant sources of income. They require relatively little investment and can create jobs, resulting in poverty alleviation. Natural ingredients obtained from beekeeping have high demand worldwide, offering good opportunities for small-scale apiarists.
In Nigeria, the beekeeping industry has not developed its maximum potential. Some related problems are little quantity and quality. The country has not been able to meet the local demand, leading to import billions of honey in the last years. On the other hand, beekeepers have faced difficulties to get benefits due to adulterations of honey. For honey consumers, it is important to know how and where it is produced. Thus, quality matters.
Therein lies the need to create and promote the potential of developing a high quality beekeeping industry in Nigeria. Hence, WAITRO and the Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC) from Nigeria conducted the Capacity Workshop The Development of the Beekeeping Industry in Africa: from Hive to Table: Quality Assurance and Safety in Honey Supply Chain in October 2018.
This workshop was proposed as a Laboratory Quality Management Systems for Honey Producers in Nigeria. It was part of the Women Economic Empowerment Project, conjoint with a program in the area of Shea Butter Development.
The Capacity Development workshop had great success and the participants learnt essential features of the beekeeping industry. Some highlights were:
- Halalan-Toyyiban honey products can be produced along supply chain
- Good manufacturing and hygiene practices can be implemented to reduce waste and increase productivity
- Importance of guaranteed safe food product manufacturing
- Prioritization and control of potential hazards in the production
- Accredited laboratories by demonstrating technical proficiency and, precise-accurate test and calibration data
- Competitive products can increase market access
- Increase employees’ confidence in controlling the system by having good manufacturing system in place
With this event, we worked towards the UN Goals: Gender equality (5) and decent work and economic growth (8). This workshop was able to give some inputs to employment creation and poverty reduction of rural-based honey producing communities. Likewise, women could reflect on economic empowerment through enhanced income. As result, the participants were highly motivated to increase the number of small and medium honey industries.