Apiculture workshop sets new sights for industry

National, Normal

THE Livestock Development Corporation (LDC) and its partners will push for separate Government budgetary support next year.
This decision was reached at the end of a two-day apiculture (bee-keeping) workshop in Goroka Eastern Highlands province last week.
LDC managing director John Akipe said they would develop a funding strategy for the Government to allocate separate funding for the apiculture industry in the 2011 national budget.
He said Government intervention was required to revitalise the industry, saying the funding arrangement for the industry under the National Agriculture Development Plan (NADP) would be highlighted for appropriate actions.
Mr Akipe said efforts were required for relevant stakeholders to collaboratively pursue vigorously the support for funding.
Issues discussed at the workshop in the National Sports Institute Lecture Hall included Government intervention to create credit and subsidy scheme and tax concessions for honey bee farmers, the need for capacity building, extension programme, a central coordination office, specialised training, information dissemination, awareness, field days and workshops.
They also discussed the possibility of having separate apiculture boards to manage the affairs of the industry with feedback from separate provincial boards to be created after separate funding was allocated.
The workshop was attended by provincial agriculture advisers, bee farmers, technical advisers, National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI), National Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Authority (NAQIA), Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC), National Development Bank (NDB), National Agriculture Development Programme (NADP) and agriculture commodity representatives
Highlands Regional Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) director Mawe Gonapa described the workshop as “very constructive”.
“We will collaboratively pursue to ensure the industry grows and make an impact on the lives of farmers. Honey is in  demand and is fetching high prices.
“We should now develop a positive mindset to develop the industry, develop sustainable extension training programmes,” he said.