Challenges facing beekeepers in Tanzania: a case study of the National Honey Show

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


This study was mainly conducted in Iringa aiming at assessing challenges facing beekeepers that practice beekeeping known as apiculture. Apiculture is the art, science and or business of managing honey bees or the purpose of producing honey, beeswax and other bee products for personal consumption and industrial use. The national GDP is also increased by this practice. A company was established known as the national Honey show limited in 2006 as a company it received support from the Small and Medium Competitiveness Facility (SCF), under matching grant National Microfinance Bank (NMB) and Celtel scheme for social enterprises through a mix of grants, the company mainly supports farmers in rural areas as they face man challenges including finance for purchasing equipment and machines needed for production process. Its is estimated that the production potential for bee products in the country is 138,000 tones of honey and 9,200 tones of beeswax annually from an estimated 9.2 million honeybee colonies. The cost of production using tradition beehive is between TZS 7,500/= and TZS 10,000/= but considering that it leads to serious deforestation. The cost of constructing a Tanzania standard top bar beehive varies from TZS 25,000/= to TZS35, 000/=while the Kenya top bar costs TZS 40,000/= The Langstroth costs between TZS 75,000/= and TZS 85,000/=. Honey produced in Tanzania is supposed to be subjected to testing to ensure that it meets the prescribed quality standards by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS). However, a standard for honey was developed and implemented in 2003 by TBS using the EAC treaty where quality factor, sugar content, water insoluble solids, contaminants, hygiene and label ling are looked upon. Marketing of honey includes domestic and export .world trade According to FAO (2005), production in tons per continent in 2004 was Asia 38.3%, Europe 23.3%, North America 13.2%, Africa 11.2%, South America 10.0%, Oceania 2.7% and Central America and Caribbean 1.2%. Ordinary beekeepers keep an average of 150 beehives that are capable of producing 10 kilograms of honey and 0.5 kilograms of beeswax per annum. Assuming a 50% cost of production is incurred from total revenue, a holding of 150 bee hives would give an extra income of not less than Tshs. 176,000 per annum (which is equivalent to more than US $ 200). Importers include morocco south Africa Zimbabwe, Rwanda (2% share), Angola (1% share), Mauritius (1% share), Mozambique (1% share), Angola (1% share), Mauritius (1% share), Mozambique (1% share). Thus, only 19% of honey is sold in Africa. Being proactive in finding market information from available sources within and outside the country. Prices varies in some retail outlets visited range from TZS 1, 800/= to TZS 3,600/= per 500g bottle and TZS 4,500/= to TZS 5,500/= per liters of plastic bottles. Many challenges face beekeepers due to the poverty that our country has financially and experts, the way forward such as quality assurance is looked upon as the way to meet export market.


Masters Dissertation


Beekeepers, Tanzania, National Honey Show