THE Federal Government yesterday, raised alarm over fake imported honey from China as most of them were produced with sugar syrup which poses danger to human health.
This was stated by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, while receiving delegation of Nigeria Apiculture Platform, NAP, who won the hosting right for the country of 2018 APIEXPO (Apiculture Expo) in Nigeria and assured payment for hosting right fee of $50, 000.
Ogbeh commended NAP for the resilience and doggedness to win the hosting rights and said it was the right time for such big expo to host the African stakeholders and investors from all over the world in 2018. He said: “Thanks you also for responding to national call and for winning the hosting right.
“The payment of the hosting fee within 10 days is short but we have to host it. We will pay the $50, 000 but should extend the deadline for us because we have to get the money out by following due process and get it as quickly as possible within a month or two.
We will support you and the industry as government. “We abandoned agriculture in this country for a very long time and today things are very tough. We became importers and not producers, and so we import everything including honey. “There is no harm in importing but if it consumes 80 per cent of what you earn. The import bill of honey from China is about $100 million a year.
Some of that honey is not real honey. Many are made up of sugar syrup. “It is time to take the business of agriculture seriously. Let us eat what we produce and what produce what we eat. I do not see why Tanzania, Botswana, Rwanda, Kenya and others in East Africa make so much money from honey exports, and we can’t. I am happy that you are now taking up the challenge. You honey farmers are the heroes for keeping bees.”
The benefits of the APIEXPO according to Dr. Dooshima Kwange of the ministry’s Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, while making her presentation of the expo include transfer of new technologies, modernisation of the industry in Nigeria, exposure to global platforms, job creation, generation of foreign exchange, and tourism development.
Meanwhile, a stakeholder, Managing Director, BARG Natural Honey, Yakman Wuyep said that, “The honey market in Nigeria is very big and also to host APIEXPO 2018 is a huge opportunity to develop and expand the industry in Nigeria. The expo will bring more investors and people to see what we have here in Nigeria and basically improve the economy.”
While expressing optimism over Nigeria hosting the 2018 edition of APIEXPO, Managing Director, JOFRAN Honey, said that, “The Expo will help people to learn how to do the honey business in the right way according to best global practices and women will also be empowered through this expo and there is so much money in honey production business.”