The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in conjunction with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) is developing a National Residue Monitoring Plan to ensure safety of honey.
Dr Mu'azu Abdulkadir, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, disclosed this at the handover of bee-keeping materials, honey processing and laboratory equipment to farmers in Abuja on.
Abdulkadir, represented by Dr Olanirun Alabi, the Director, Veterinary and Pests Control Services in the ministry, said that the move was to ensure safety of honey and other hives products for local consumption and export.
He said that the residue monitoring plan was a prerequisite for export of honey and other hives products to the EU and other international markets.
Abdulkadir said that the distribution of the bee keeping, honey processing and laboratory equipment to farmers and research institutes was a step toward actualising the plan and ensure food safety.
He listed the procured equipment to include modern hives, hives tools, smokers, honey extractors, bee suit, bee wax, rendering machine, laboratory equipment for analysing honey and other hives products.
What we are witnessing today is in fulfilment of the promise made by the minister at the just concluded ApiExpo Africa 2018 to continue with the support programme for the bee keeping industry.
T1he ministry in collaboration with AU Bureau for Animal Resources has trained a number of bee keepers and the equipment is distributed to the beneficiaries,''he said.
Olusegun Awolowo, the NEPC Director-General said that when the National Residue Monitoring Plan had been developed and implemented, it would help bee-keepers to make good business.
Awolowo was represented by Mrs Ngozi Ibe, the Chief Trade Promotion Officer of NEPC.
If, we get it right with the right policies, if food safety issues are addressed and the residue monitoring plan is completed, we are good to go and it will be a big business for the bee keepers,'' he said.
Dr Dosshima Kwange, one of the facilitators of the programme, commended the Federal Government for their support to bee farmers after the 2018 ApiExpo Africa, which took place in the country.
Kwange said that the distribution of the equipment was targeted at ensuring adequate nutrition and zero hunger.
Ademola Adesina, the Chairman of the Nigeria Apiculture Platform said that the platform had mapped out a five year vision for apiculture to impact about 60,000 hives with 8,000 bee hives by 2023.
Mr Suffyan Koroma, the Country representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), pledged to support bee-keeping both technically and financially in the country
Koroma was represented by Hajiya Saadiya Haliru, the officer in charge of livestock matters in the organisation.
Mr Ibi Ikpoki, the Economic Officer, EU Delegation to Nigeria, said the EU was committed to helping Nigeria diversify its exports.
Ikpoki called on the Federal Government to address the high export tariff on agricultural produce, especially honey which according to him was as high as 17.5 per cent.
Some of the beneficiaries include the Youth Bee Farmer of Anagada Progressive Union, FCT, National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Plateau State, among others promised to utilise the equipment to promote bee keeping in the country.
Source: Voice of Nigeria