USAID trains Osun poly staff on apiary, honey production

As part of the efforts to improve the entrepreneurship skills of staff and students of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, a five-day workshop has been organised for the polytechnic community on apiary, bee keeping and honey production.

A volunteer of the United States for International Development (USAID) to Nigeria, Mr Caleb O’biren, described the Apiary farming and Bee Keeping as a panacea to poverty, saying it is a veritable venture that could boost the nation’s economy.

The apiary workshop was packaged by USAID and Winrock International, a Non-Governmental Organisation as a stable of the farmer-to-farmer programme of the organisation to boost Agricultural technology in Nigeria through trainings and workshops for officials of tertiary institutions and local farmers in the country.

According to a release by the institutions Media Relations Officer, Mr Tope Abiola, participants at the workshop which included staffers of the polytechnic and farmers in Boripe Local Government Area of Osun State were trained on modern technology of Bee Keeping and Honey Production, which the USAID official described as a veritable venture that could be used to provide jobs for unemployed Nigerians.

Mr O’biren, an American based Apiary and Bee Keeping specialist, declared that “apiary is a good venture that could be done in local communities with a little capital to produce honey in large quantity”.

While explaining the importance of honey and demand for honey in all parts of the world, O’biren explained that “Honey Production is not capital intensive, its production can survive a country, because it is what is needed by all homes in a country. It is a daily need that is used for treatment of certain ailments.

“It is also used to prevent certain diseases which could cause damage to some cells in our bodies”.

While speaking on why Winrock International collaborated with the USAID to embark on training of tertiary institution staffers in Nigeria, the Director of the USAID/Winrock’s Farmers to Farmer programme Dr Mike Bassey enthused that “we believe that Bee Keeping is a kind of Agriculture that is not fully known to majority of Nigerians as a low capital intensive farming that could boost their agricultural production. “We need to improve the skills of the farmers and expose them to modern Apiary for production of honey in large quantity because of high demand for honey in Nigeria community.”

Explaining reasons why the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree organised the training for staffers of the institution and farmers in Iree Community, the Rector of the institution, who is the facilitator of the workshop, Dr Jacob Olusola Agboola stated that it was part of the capacity building and skills acquisition programme embarked upon recently by the institution.

Dr Agboola stressed that “Apiary and Bee Keeping is a type of agriculture that we must encourage in our community to engage our teeming youths in the country, who are unemployed, while employed individuals can also embark on it to boost their economic power.

He added that it is part of efforts of the Department of Agric-Engineering and Bioenvironmental Studies of the polytechnic to train local farmers in the state on modern Agricultural skills.

“We are collaborating with local farmers in the state on modern agricultural technology in various ways, not only in Crop Farming, but in Apiary, Livestock and Animal Production, that is why we have acquired some acres of land for research and training of students and farmers in the state on the modern Agricultural skills, this has made us to collaborate with USAID and Winrock International for the exercise.

About 150, both from the polytechnic and Iree township who participated at the workshop were introduced to practical trainings in the polytechnic farm.