The Nigerian Government has been charged to invest in the honey value chain to enhance wealth creation in the country.
Speaking in Abuja, Mr Edwin Aguddah, an agriculturalist, who is the Head of Operations, Sehai Foods Ltd., said that jobs would be created along the value chain from production, processing, package and marketing.
“We will like to work with other agencies along the value chain to see how we can restructure the system to meet the national demand, generate income and improve the economy through export. Honey making is one big business the government should look into, it can create a lot of jobs and opportunities,” he said.
He said that honey though healthy for consumption, some Nigerians were staying away from it as there were a lot of adulterated product in the market due to poor investment in the chain.
Aguddah said that Sehai Foods had conducted research on honey for seven years and came up with a unique blend made up of honey from the grass land and rock honey.
He said that the organisation was looking at the whole bee keeping value chain to ensure high quality honey for Nigerians.
He said that the organisation had also set up bee farms in rural communities and had trained farmers in bee keeping to improve on the quality.
Aguddah said that high capacity machines that could produce up to 300 tonnes of high quality honey had been imported by the organisation.
“We are working with multipurpose cooperatives of 30 members in the 33 states of the federation.We train them on modern European methods of bee keeping and are helping them improve on what they do to boost production and enhance their income generation,” he said.
He said that this would ensure benefits were accrued in the honey business and people needed to be confident in what they consumed.
He said that there were many benefits in taking honey and urged NAFDAC and the Standard Organisation of Nigeria to ensure quality assurance.
Honey value chain is considered by experts as a financially rewarding venture.
The U.S Agricultural Marketing Center estimated that in 2013 alone, the honey value chain was worth over $20 billion to American agriculture.