Initiatives aim to boost coffee, honey production

National

PNG produces 50 tonnes of hived honey against an annual consumption of about 200 tonnes, chief scientist with the Coffee Industry Corp Dr Nelson Simbiken says.
“To date, hived honeybee colonies yield about 50 tonnes of honey annually worth K1.2 million,” he said.
“This is produced by about 1000 beekeepers, with up to 500 of them based in Eastern Highlands.
“However, PNG consumes about 200 tonnes of honey annually, with the gap between demand and supply coming from imported ones.”
He pointed at these at the launch of honeybee integration with coffee and PNG Coffee handbook in Goroka last week.
Dr Simbiken said the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) was embarking on stakeholder partnership in the apiculture industry for honey production and pollination services in PNG after a Government decision in August 2014 to transfer the apiculture industry from Livestock Development Corp to CIC.
“The decision to transfer was based on science and institutional capacity to support the growth of the apiculture industry since coffee flower occurs all-year round with three major peaks,” he said.
“Now is the time to introduce honey bees.”
Dr Simbiken said the apiculture industry has remained untapped.
He said it has been a cottage industry that is well-suited to smallholder farming, particularly in the Highlands.

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