Dr. Paul Kyalimpa, deputy director Uganda Investment Authority tastes locally processed honey as Sandra Ajanh Elabu (L) looks on. This was at Kamwokya during a farmers' exhibition. (Eddie Ssejjoba)
Eddie Ssejjoba
Journalist @New Vision

BUSINESS | UGANDAN HONEY | ON DEMAND 

KAMPALA - Uganda's organic honey is currently in high demand in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with 500,000kg needed per day, the Uganda Investment Authority (UAE) has said. 

The UIA tipped bee farmers that traders in Dubai had asked Uganda to supply over 500,000kg of organic honey daily. 

Honey is also in high demand in markets across Europe, United States and Asia. 

Paul Kyalimpa, the UIA deputy director said that they were excited about the demand but unfortunately said Uganda’s production capacity cannot satisfy the current market. 

“Since the Dubai Expo 2020, traders in the UAE have been demanding Uganda’s honey, which is pure and not mixed with any preservatives because it is in high demand in their market and other countries,” he said.

He was last week speaking to bee farmers at Kamwokya in Kampala, where he said in addition, agents in Dubai were looking forward to partnering with local organic bee processors to be able to supply to Europe. 

“The good news is that the agents need all the honey we have in Uganda, and they gave us an option to coordinate other organic honey producers in the neighbouring countries like DR Congo in order to raise the required kilograms,” Kyalimpa stated. 

He said for any interested processors, the honey can be sent using Uganda Airlines. 

He said UIA was collaborating with local governments to create more industrial parks and 30% of the land would be allocated to small and medium enterprises involved in value addition. 

He encouraged bee producers to pick up this offer by processing their honey before export. 

He said UIA was ready to help the small enterprises to acquire product certification from the Uganda National Bureau of Standards and access funding from the Uganda Development Bank (UDB). 

He explained that UDB was giving loans with interests as low as 5%, which he said was intended to save small enterprises from acquiring high-interest loans from moneylenders who often grab their properties. 

In addition, he said, the government was planning to inject more funds into commercial banks like Post Bank and Pride Microfinance that can easily be accessed by small enterprises and individuals on the ground. 

Sandra Ajang Elabu from the Western Silk Ltd company however said bee farmers had a low production last year season due to the little rains that were received. 

She said because of climate change effects, there was a persistent dry spell experienced in many parts of the country, and crops and plants did not produce enough flowers. 

She appealed to local governments to sensitize people against burning bushes that reduce the natural vegetation from which bees collect honey. 

Elabu explained that they were working with 1,500 bee farmers and asked individuals to form groups and pull resources to process their honey before selling it. 

The group, she added, was working with some groups and was providing them with hives on loan and can pay back with either supply of honey. She said they also provide training to equip the farmers with the necessary skills. 

Lawrence Tusimomuhangi, assistant commissioner productive entomology in the ministry of agriculture said over 1.2m farmers in Uganda were involved in beekeeping but asked more people to embrace the sector because of the returns it gives.

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