By Bassey Inyang
The Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Segun Awolowo, has stated that Nigeria is capable of generating at least $10 billion annually from local and international trade in honey and other hive products.
Awolowo stated this yesterday in Ikom, Cross River State, during a one day export workshop and mini exhibition on honey production and packaging for export.
He said the demand for honey and other hive products was on the rise globally, hence adequate attention should be given to production of honey and related products locally.
Awolowo, who was represented at the event by the NEPC Regional Coordinator, South-South, Mrs. Azuka Ikejieofor, said that honey production and its export potential was a quick win product that should be explored for intensive development and promotion.
He added: “According to the USAID bee keeping pollination project, Nigeria can generate over 10 billion dollars from local and international trade in honey and other hive products as domestic consumption currently stands at 380,000 metric tonnes.
“On the other hand, global monetary value of trade in honey alone stands at about $4.5 million. Apart from the present high and still growing demand, bee products are highly priced globally, especially in non-producer countries. Nigeria farmers generally suffer a lot from deficiencies in production, storage, handling and packaging which makes their output unfit for the export market.
“This is why there is need to enhance their capacity to produce high quality crops that would attract premium prices in the international market with a view to boosting their export in line with the focus of zero -oil plan.
“It is based on the foregoing that the NEPC is holding this capacity building workshop today, for both the farmers and other stakeholders, because Nigeria’s economy must be prevented from its over dependency on petroleum through commitment to export diversification.
“It is our belief that bee product, by their production and export potentials, belong to this category of quick -win products that should be for intensive development and promotion. Cross River State by its agro-ecology that is quite suited for honey, the production of bee product such as natural honey bee, wax bee pollen and many others.”