NGO to mark World Bee Day with summit on awareness creation, says official

A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Youth For Apiculture Initiative (YFAI), says it will mark the 2021 World Bee Day with a summit aimed at creating awareness about apiculture in the country.

The proposed 2-day summit, co-hosted by The Rural Environmental Empowerment Initiative (T.R.E.E.), slated for Abuja, will begin on May 20 under the theme: “Exploring the Potentials of Apiculture In Nigeria”.

The World Bee Day theme is: “Bee engaged, Build Back Better for Bees.”

Mr Oluwaseun Johnson, YFAI’s Public Relations Officer, stated that the summit was aimed at unraveling the potential of Nigeria’s beekeeping industry before Nigerians, especially youths, government and NGOs.

He said; “before now, the only thing or product people know about beekeeping is honey or beeswax.

“When you look at the analysis of trade of beeswax prior to 2018, it was said that it was just about 11 metric tons, while others said nine tons.

“We don’t have exact figures, but we know that in 2019 an American company exported over a 100 tons and I have figures for about 200 metric tons of beeswax exported from about 19 states in Nigeria in 2020.

“Why is it that the American company that came into the country understood what the potentials are in terms of the various hive produced?

“Whilst we Nigerians don’t still know the potential of what the industry still has to offer.

“Also, some years ago, samples from Cross Rivers State were taken to the University of Manchester and it was discovered that the propolis was probably the second best in the world, only next to that of the Amazon forest.”

Johnson added that it was improper for Nigerians to continue to leave understanding and opportunities offered by the potentials of its beekeeping industry to foreigners.

“So, one of the objectives of the summit and what has influenced this year’s theme is to let Nigerians, particularly the youths, know the potentials of what they have so that it drives their interest and quest to be able to take advantage of that wealth.

“Also, it is to get the government to know the potentials of the industry because none of them is paying attention to it,” Johnson, an entomologist, said.

The president of YFAI, Mr Yusuf Adeyemo, told our reporter that the summit would also include an exhibition, the launch of the Nigerian Honey Repository, the unveiling of an Apiculture Expansion & Empowerment Model and technical discussions.

“We are looking at inviting representatives from development finance institutions, non-governmental organisations, the Central Bank of Nigeria and lawmakers.

“So, when they come and hear about the potentials, they will know that beekeeping is beyond honey and probably pay more attention and encourage investments to make it a frontline issue in agriculture,” he said.

Our correspondent reports that Youth for Apiculture Initiative (YFAI) is a not-for-profit Apiculture industry initiative, with over  1,000 members, including institutions, clusters, off-takers, retailers, suppliers and NGOs as critical stakeholders of the honey value chain, from across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.


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