Serenje District Commissioner, Charles Mwelwa, has observed that the beekeeping sector has potential to contribute to the diversification of the country’s economy through the export of bee products.
Speaking at Kamena Depot in Serenje yesterday during the handover of 30 bicycles and 456 beehives to Serenje Beekeepers by Community Markets for Conservation (Comaco) with support from the International Rotary Club, Mr Mwelwa said Government has identified the bee keeping sector as one of the engines of economic growth with potential to reduce poverty.
“With an estimated annual production of 100 metric tonnes of honey countrywide, the beekeeping sector has potential to contribute to the diversification of the country’s economy through the export of bee products and create income for thousands of beekeepers, processors and traders,” he said.
Mr Mwelwa, who commended Comaco for involving itself in numerous livelihood alternatives, including beekeeping, said participation of charitable organisations, Government and the community will not only promote the conservation of nature but also enhance livelihood.
The District Commissioner said since 2009 Comaco has worked with 600 beekeepers and distributed 1,083 beehives out of which 433 came from the Rotary Club.
He appealed to stakeholders to take keen interest in beekeeping as it contributes to socio-economic development at local and national levels.
And the Rotary Club of Lusaka, District 9210 outgoing president, Mabvuto Nyirenda, urged the beneficiaries of the beekeeping input to put the donation to good use in order to uplift their livelihood.
“We expect that the items will be used on intended purpose because people that contributed money to finance the project sacrificed,” he said.