Chipinge appeals for more Apiculture funding

Fungayi Munyoro-Chingaira

Chipinge Times

CHIPINGE – Zimbabwe must increase its funding for the apiculture industry in order for the country to maximize earnings from honey and several other by-products coming from bees, business experts have said.

Ishmael Sithole of MacJohnson Apiaries Private Business Corporations told a Chipinge Chamber of Small to Medium Enterprise (SME’s) workshop held at a local Lodge on April 12, 2022 that there is an acute shortage of genuine honey on the market because the apiculture industry is seriously underfunded.

The shortages have their downstream problems including the adulteration of honey where the market is supplied with fake products and some of which can result in food poisoning, said Sithole.

Funding is needed for state of art equipment, motor vehicles to transport honey and hives and hive construction equipment. Currently there is no funding for farmers and they are self-finding themselves.

 The two-day workshop was attended by over 40 delegates from Chipinge.

Chipinge has 915 registered honey farmers and on average they produce four tonnes of honey per month which is sold to local supermarkets, Mozambique and South Africa.  

“Our biggest problem is the apiculture industry in Zimbabwe is underfunded. This has led to the short supply of genuine honey which in turn is bringing in dubious players who buy genuine and adulterate it by mixing it with sugar syrups and sending it into the markets.

“Adulterated honey can kill because it can result in food poisoning. Adulterated honey can be very lethal against diabetic people.

“If you look at the global market trends, honey is the third most adulterated product after essential oils and milk. Zimbabwe needs to fund genuine players to stop fake honey from flooding the market,” he said.

MacJohnson Apiaries harvests five direct products from bees and they are honey, bees wax, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom that are used in the pharmaceutical industry. They also have virgin queen bees which they trade commercially. The bees are used for commercial pollination services usually in the tree crop plantation such as avocados and macadamia blue berries.

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