- Many farmers in Kenya are yet to commercialise honey production as the sector is still regarded as a preserve of the poor.
- This has been the case while there is a huge market for the product in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
One of the leading beekeeping Companies in Africa, Savannah Honey has launched a subsidized national beekeeping promotion program dubbed “Don’t let your land stay idle”.
The program is targeting 7,000 farmers across the country.
Bee-keeping in Kenya has been practised traditionally for many years.
However, only 20% of the country’s honey production potential (estimated at 100,000 metric tonnes) has been tapped.
Many farmers in Kenya are yet to commercialize honey production as the sector is still regarded as a preserve of the poor.
This has been the case while there is a huge market for the product in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
The program shall provide technical support services including colony division, colony strengthening and requeening free of charge to farmers.
The program also seeks to deliver and install Langstroth hives at a reduced price.
It will also manage the apiaries for farmers, provide free training to the clients and also provide land on lease to clients who might not have land but they are interested in modern beekeeping.
It also seeks to provide the clients with a 5-year contract for the market of Honey, propolis, bee pollen, royal jelly, wax and Bee Venom at a favourable price.
Speaking during the launch of the program at Savannah Honey beekeeping Centre, Utawala Nairobi, the CEO of Savannah Honey Kyalo Mutua said that Kenya’s potential in beekeeping has never been exploited.
He said this has led to Kenya importing around 80% of the honey consumed in the country and, over 95% of all Bee pollen, propolis and bee venom used in the country is imported.
“Through this programme, we shall enable our clients to utilise their idle land enabling them to earn extra income,” he said.
He encouraged people to invest in beekeeping because it’s an investment that one can never go wrong if one checks against the black ants and honey badgers.
“Again it’s an investment that doesn’t require any input and labour. It’s not time-consuming and it has very high returns with honey now retailing at Sh 800 per kg, Bee pollen at Sh6,800 per kg, propolis kshs 1,900 per kg and bee venom at Sh4,000 per gram,” Mutua said.
To make this effective, the company has deployed apiarists across the country who can serve clients within 24 hours whenever the need arises.
Honey is five times more expensive than oil and its demand is increasing not only in Africa itself but all over the world.
Priced at between $5-$11 (Sh500-Sh1,400), one kilo of honey in Kenya costs five times what a litre of petrol does.
And in the Arab market, a jar of honey can fetch almost double this amount ($15-$25).
It is a price tag that has honey producers all over the world salivatingSince independence, Kenya has had a deficit in honey production which leads to over 80% of honey processed in Kenya being imported from Tanzania while there is a lot of potential for beekeeping in the country.
Leading honey producers in Africa such as Ethiopia, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe have the same favourable climatic conditions for beekeeping as Kenya.
These realities have pushed Savannah to devise ways to maximize Kenya’s potential.