- Agriculture executive said the overall objective of the Kitui beekeeping policy is to enhance the county’s capacity to coordinate and regulate beekeeping industry.
- He said the process will ensure there is an efficient and effective contribution of the value chain to food security, employment and environmental conservation.
Beekeepers in Mwingi have urged Kitui county government, through the Agriculture department, to donate modern beehives to help them improve their farming activities.
Speaking in Mwingi town after a public participation in the formulation of the Kitui county beekeeping policy, the farmers said the modern hives are so expensive.
Joseph Kithonga, a farmer from Nguutani in Mwingi West, said the beekeepers are still using traditional hives and have not been getting much as the bees have moved from the hives due to drought.
He also said they do not have enough beekeeping knowledge and called on the county to assist them.
"We have been told to embrace modern beekeeping methods, but we do not have the money to buy the hives. A single one costs over Sh5,000 and most of us are unable to buy," he said.
Esther Kalumu, another farmer, said water shortage has been a major challenge, even as she asked the national government to sink more dams and other water projects to boost beekeeping.
David Kilonzi, another farmer, said beekeeping is so profitable, but only when the government supports farmers.
"We have a market challenge, something that if addressed, will impact our lives as farmers. Currently, a kilo of honey retails at Sh800. This is good money," he said.
Agriculture executive Stephen Kimwele Mbaya, who attended the public participation forum at a Mwingi town hotel, said the overall objective of the policy is to enhance the county’s capacity to coordinate, manage, develop and regulate the beekeeping industry.
He said the process will ensure there is an efficient and effective contribution of the value chain to food security, employment and environmental conservation.
Mbaya termed the development of relevant and enforceable beekeeping laws and regulations as an essential component of developing the apiculture industry in Kitui.
The Agriculture executive underscored the importance of the policy in the region, adding that the county government will discuss the policy in the cabinet and forward it to the county assembly for enactment.