Big demand for honey keeping things sweet for beekeepers


INCREASING demand for organic honey in the Highlands has encouraged more farmers to get involved in the bee-keeping business, according to Oxfam (PNG).
Last Friday Oxfam graduated 15 participants from Jiwaka, Chimbu and Eastern Highlands with certificates in bee farming.
Media and communications officer Diane Anton said the training was co-facilitated by honey bee farmer and trainer Kelly Inae through his Helping Hand Honey Producers (HHHP) organisation and Department of Agriculture and Livestock.
She said four women and 11 men participated in the bee-keeping training covering theory and practical aspects of bee keeping.
Anton said they also had four students from University of Goroka participating in the training programme as part of their practical.
“We would like to see more youths becoming engaged in bee-keeping as an income-generating activity,” she said.
“With the increasing demand for organic honey there is a need for more farmers to get involved in the bee keeping business.
“They (participants) welcomed this opportunity provided to them and are very much looking forward to the next training in October 2018.”
Anton said with their new knowledge on bee farming, participants were geared up to kick-start their first hive under the HHHP credit scheme.
“HHHP not only gives training or buys honey from the beekeepers,” she said.
“The organisation also provides start-up funds that help farmers to get their beekeeping production off the ground.
“Once their honey is ready and starts selling, HHHP then recoups the costs of input from their sales. So far, this has been working at 98 per cent success rate.
The participants were grateful for the training which aligns with the government SME goals.
“Participants also thanked Oxfam in Papua New Guinea, Oxfam New Zealand and New Zealand government for supporting Kelly Inae and HHHP in reaching out to the rural farmers.”

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