By SOLDIER BURUKA of DAL
A national apiculture industry association has been established to promote and develop the honey bee industry throughout the country.
The association has been formed by bee farmers, queen bee breeders, producers, breeders, suppliers, and other stakeholders involved in the development of the industry. The move is the result of recommendations made at the first-ever national apiculture industry workshop held in Goroka in March this year.
A meeting of stakeholders in Goroka organised by Highlands Farmers and Settlers Association after the workshop resolved to establish the national body as the first step towards moving the industry forward.
An interim executive has also been elected with longtime bee promoter and chairman of Isten Hailans Beekeepers Association Jonah Buka as interim chairman, Hardy Ketauwo as treasurer and Jonah Negiha as secretary.
The association includes representation from farmers in all highlands provinces, including Jiwaka as well as Madang, Morobe, Oro and Central.
Potential bee farmers in other provinces are also urged to join the national body.
One of the key outcomes of the national apiculture industry workshop was the need to establish a body that would represent the apiculture industry at the national level and not be restricted to only one or fewer provinces as is the present situation.
As the way forward, the workshop determined that the new body would play a lead role in driving the honey bee industry and ensure that there was sustainability as well as improvements in the livelihood of the bee farmers throughout the country.
It has been resolved that the Isten Hailans Beekeepers Association will utilise its expertise in collaboration with the Highlands Farmers and Settlers Association and the Department of Agriculture and Livestock to take ownership in establishing the new body. Bee keepers, producers, suppliers, queen breeders, trainers and others in the provinces will be required to affiliate to district and provincial branches that will form part of the national association.
DAL and Livestock Development Corporation have been urged to play a key role in the formation and provision of technical and secretarial assistance to set up the body.
This was confirmed at another stakeholders meeting held early this month in Goroka.
Meanwhile, a field day and seminar on honey bee is being planned for either May or June to showcase the success of the industry in some areas and its vast potential.