The shortage of honey processing facilities in Sofala is affecting the communities engaged in honey bee farming, producers in the centre of the country who have been forced to raise prices to offset high production costs say.
Moisés Kakuno, a honey specialist at the Local Economic Development Agency, a civil society organisation operating in Sofala province, says “the greatest challenge facing communities is hygiene during the production process, which ultimately influences the retail price”.
Honey production overall is quite delicate, but processing is the key phase of the business chain, since this is where certification takes place.
However, there is a shortage of honey processing units available to the communities, who “do not have enough funds to build quality laboratories locally, which means that they depend on the private sector, since the community alone cannot complete the honey production chain,” Kakuno added.
In Nhamapaza in Sofala province, the Local Economic Development Agency installed a laboratory to process honey purchased from members of local communities and from the district of Marringue.
Honey is bought for 70 meticais per kilogram and, once processed, 800 grams are sold on at 300 meticais, a margin of 230 meticais.
Honey is rich in nutrients and desirable in a balanced and healthy diet. In addition, its production contributes to community sustainability and the preservation of forests and biodiversity.
The problems of the local honey industry emerged during a tour of Sofala province that brought together more than 30 peasants, beekeepers and managers of community lodges from the provinces of Zambézia and Cabo Delegado, as well as a team from the National Directorate of Forestry.
The programme, included in the Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities promoted by the World Wildlife Fund, was aimed at facilitating the exchange of experience among beekeeping and honey-producing professionals.
Despite the problems, the common denominator of all the places visited is that producers should use better hives and improve hygiene techniques, since they are already aware of the demand for quality honey.
Source: Club Of Mozambique