President Muhammadu Buhari says the Federal Government is formulating new policies to drive developmental processes in the apiculture (bee-keeping) industry in the country.
Buhari said this in Abuja on Tuesday at the 6th APIEXPO Africa 2018 titled `Beekeeping Industry for Sustainable Development, Wealth Creation and Economic Diversification’.
The President, represented by Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said the government was also building the capacities of bee-keepers and processors to develop the sector.
He said the exposition would help to broaden linkages with regional and international corporations, especially in cross-pollination of ideas and market linkages.
Buhari said: “Let me assure you that Nigeria will continue to support the development of apiculture industry at all levels, especially in the area of bee hives to ensure our bees are protected from harmful pesticides, diseases and pests.
“We will also ensure timely formulation of required policies and enactment of necessary legislation.”
Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, urged bee-keepers and processors to ensure that only the finest standards were applied to the sector.
Ogbeh said: “We want to support bee-keepers in our annual budget by providing processors with the necessary inputs in equipment and loans even lower than the one digit announced by the CBN.
“We believe that we have to handwork people doing agriculture in Nigeria by supporting them with every facility possible.
“With the new CBN one digit lending rate, we hope that more people will get involved in bee-farming.”
In a message to the expo, Amina Mohammed, the United Nations Deputy Secretary General, said that maintaining the bees would guarantee the achievement of some of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Mohammed maintained that without bees, agricultural activities would be in jeopardy.
Olusegun Awolowo, the Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, assured that by 2019, the country would join the league of African countries approved to export honey to the European Union.
Awolowo was represented by William Ezeagu, the Director, Product Development Department of the council.
Harun Baiya, the Chairman, Apitrade Africa, said the exposition would offer an opportunity to the country to grow its apiculture industry.
According to him, Nigeria is building a new history for itself with the hosting of the event.
Dr Dooshima Kwange, the Chairman of the ApiExpo Organising Committee, said the exposition was geared toward promoting both local and international trade in the apiculture industry.
She said the exposition was also in line with the government’s quest to improve the livelihood of citizens, reduce rural urban drift and expose bee-keepers into modern methods of the business.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that bee stakeholders from 35 countries across the globe were attending the expo scheduled to hold from September 25 to September 29.