• Says they will work with over 5,000 beekeepers to build an impeccable brand.
• County to train all beekeepers.
The county government of Kitui is keen to ensure that its honey is of the best quality and unadulterated, a top official has said.
Lands executive Jacob Kakundi said on Saturday that the county administration was working with over 5,000 beekeepers to build an "impeccable brand" for locally produced honey.
“We are working with beekeepers to ensure they handle honey in the most hygienic way to ensure they do not pollute it. That will doubtlessly give consumers an insatiable desire for our honey,” Kakundi said.
The executive was speaking at the remote Kakuma Ngiti home of model traditional beekeeper Mutuvi Ndunguli who has more tjan 500 beehives. Kakundi was accompanied by value chain and value addition adviser in the office of the governor Temi Mutia and subcounty administrator Daniel Munyoto.
He said the visit to the home of 85-year-old Ndunguli in Makongo location of Kitui East subcounty was meant to learn the challenges traditional bee-keepers face. “The bottom line is to ensure beekeepers overcome the challenges they face for optimum honey production,” he said.
Kakundi said the push to have bee farmers exploit their full capacity was informed by Governor Charity Ngilu's wealth creation agenda.
“When we help beekeepers produce high-quality honey, that will obviously translate to more money and create wealth for our people,” he said.
“We are conducting training for all beekeepers in Kitui. We are encouraging them to continue using the transitional beehives but with slight modification."
The executive donated 20, 30-litre honey harvesting buckets to Ndunguli. The beekeeper said during a good season he harvests at up to 2,000kg of honey.
“Since I took over beekeeping as a young man, I have never cultivated any crop in my farm. I have always fed my family by selling the honey I harvest to buy food, clothing and pay school fees for my children,” Ndunguli said.
He also said he had a sizeable herd of cattle; all from the proceeds of selling honey. He welcomed the decision by the county to boost the beekeeping industry by providing the farmers with the right production techniques.
(Edited by R.Wamochie)