Honey slowly replacing sugar

By Umar Nsubuga

Added 1st August 2017 10:18 AM

Honey from bees is also the most recommended medically and used to make cosmetics.

Honey 703x422

Honey from bees is also the most recommended medically and used to make cosmetics.

Honey is becoming a popular substitute for sugar and is eaten with many snacks around the globe. Honey is not only produced by bees, but also various insects although honey bee is the most enjoyed type.

Honey from bees is also the most recommended medically and used to make cosmetics. 

The wax that is often collected from bee hives is used to make wax and ice cream cones after mixing it with maize flour.

A 2015 report on improving honey and cocoa value chains in Uganda by Swiss contact points out: “The stakeholders are doing good work in beekeeping but we are failing to document the achievements. This potential sector lacks statistics that can guide more informed investment.”

However, it highlights a three per cent increase of women using honey from 25 to 28 per cent in 2014.

The demand for honey and other hive products has also increased on the local market and there is a lot of potential for more farmers to engage in processing of beeswax to produce other products.

Though the Ministry of Agriculture has also developed a tool for data collection on apiculture performance, the challenge is that entomologists are not facilitated in a sector that lacks extension services. And there are still some districts without entomologists.

Over the same period, African honey has found market in European countries. However, the market was affected by the low supply from the producing countries (Zambia, Ethiopia and Uganda among others).

Zambia stands as the top African producing country, followed by Ethiopia. In Uganda, it is believed that there is a potential production of 50,000 tonnes of honey annually, but only 500 tonnes are said to be produced due to the few farmers and poor methods of honey extraction.

This production serves both local and markets abroad. The local market sells most because most of its customers do not mind about the quality. The customers who treasure quality buy the more refined honey that is sold in supermarkets in 500g, 250g and 100g at 10,000, sh7,000 and sh5,000 respectively.

Customers, who care less about the quality, purchase their honey from regional markets. Lately, a litre of honey costs sh25,000-30,000 in west Nile.

Fredrick Luyimbazi, the commissioner of entomology at the agriculture ministry says Uganda is one of the African countries, which are listed on the European Union market for export of honey and other beehive products.

It is also considered one of the emerging producers of apiculture products as the volumes are on the increase with more public awareness of how lucrative nature it is and the subsequent investments.

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