THE Raw Materials and Research Development Council (RMRDC) said it would deploy bee hives to communities to enhance the production of honey in the country.
Mrs Theresa Omara-Achong, the Deputy Director Wood Division of the council made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
Omara-Achong decried the little quality, quantity of honey in the country, saying this had been making difficult for the country to benefit from it.
She said that most of the available honey in the country had been adulterated thereby attracting low industrialisation.
“It may seem like we have honey in this country but we really don’t have it because even the little we have, the quality is not right.
“Honey is an emotional product, you will like to know where it is coming from, the source; so we have issues of traceability.
“Some people add syrup, sugar and all that, and this makes it impure. We think honey is one natural resource where economic diversification can really work.
“Honey is something you don’t need huge resources to start, the trees are already around.
“People don’t understand that bee keeping and honey processing starts on the farm, if it is not handled properly there, there is a problem.
“By the time it gets to the market there, is nothing you can do about it because it has been adulterated on the field and adulteration means you added syrup to it.
“Even our palms have germs on them and for now many people squeeze the combs and once you do that, you’ve adulterated your honey,’’ she said.
The deputy director said that the council was working to deploy bee hives to communities across the country.
She said that with sensitisation to bee farmers, deploying hives to communities would boost production and generate income for the farmers.
“RMRDC wants to encourage production that rural communities will form themselves into cooperative of 10 for us to deploy 50 hives.
“We have a proposal on ground in that regard, which we are taking to the field. We want to distribute it to our m,36 state offices and the FCT.
“We are even asking civil servants still working to begin to think of early retirement. They can be here and be part of the cooperatives in their communities.
“When we deploy bee hives to our communities, it will help boost yield because bees are the greatest pollinators.
“We need to do some sensitisation and we need to show practical examples that if I deploy a bee hive in a place, it could multiply to about 10.
“When the farmer sees that, he will be encouraged for more deployment of hives. It is a win-win situation even now because I get my honey and other hive products, the farmer gets higher yield,” she said.
NAN reports that bee keeping is one of the strategic projects of the council to develop the country’s raw material to ensure more produce and industrialisation.
The others are Development of Sweet Sorghum Value Chain, Development of Ginger Value Chain and Development and Utilisation of Sesame.