By Joy Akinsanya
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has trained beekeepers in Ogun on how to rear queen bees for pollination services.
The farmers were also trained on the use of pollination equipment in fruit and vegetable farms for effective crop yield and increase in fruit and vegetable production.
The Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, Abubakar Abdullahi, said the training was meant to guide farmers on the best practice to manage bee collonies, which serve as agent of pollination service in crop yield.
Abdullahi spoke on Wednesday at a one-day workshop in Abeokuta.
He was represented at the training by the Deputy Director, Horticulture, Mrs Omotosho Agbani.
He said that the capacity development for the farmers was a key component activity towards achieving the goal of food and nutrition security and import substitution of the Federal Government.
He described honeybee as one of the most economically important insects in agricultural economy that renders pollination services, producing honey and other hive products.
He said that honeybees, which are small but mighty creature, play an indispensable role in pollination that directly impacts our food systems, biodiversity, enhancing sustainable livelihood and overall environmental health.
“Proper pollination, via bees activities, improves the quantity and quality of fruits, vegetables, nuts, oil and other crops it also produces.
“This leads to the promotion of honeybee pollination service value chain in order to aid increase in yield and quality of crops of our farmers,” Abdullahi said.
Also speaking, the Ogun coordinator, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Mrs Patience Ayo-Ajayi, said that bee farmers play a vital role in the lives of so many people in terms of production of quality honey in place of artificial sugar and also bee products.
Ayo-Ajayi also spoke on the importance of honeybee pollination in agriculture, saying that bee pollination has played a successful role on crops, particularly on fruits and vegetables crops, which help the crops to flourish and yield bountifully.
According to her, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, has made food security a major agenda that must be achieved.
She, therefore, described the training as being in line with the food security agenda of the present administration.
She urged the participants to seize the opportunity offered by the training to ensure they apply all they were taught in their farming practices to ensure a brighter and more productive future of fruit and vegetable and also increase their incomes.
The Chairman Federation of Beekeepers Association of Nigeria, Mr Elijah Asade, in Ogun, commended the federal government for building their capacity on honeybee queen rearing and pollination service.
Asade said that the training would help to boost production and increase the income of the farmers.
“The honeybee queen rearing and pollination service is one training we have been eager to learn.
“This is the right time for us to key into it because a lot of us don’t practice it.
“We only practice the conventional way of rearing bees,” he said.
He admonished his fellow members to key into the training and reflect it on their farmland.
He promised that they would make proper use of the skills and knowledge gathered at the training to boost food production and security in the country.
The resource person, Mr Samuel Agboola, said the purpose of the training was to enable beekeepers to use honeybee to achieve the success in agricultural economy, through bee pollination of crops.
Abgboola further spoke on the importance of bee pollination to crops.
He defined honeybee queen rearing as the controlled process of raising queen bees from selected larvae.
He explained that effective bee pollination on crops would result in healthier crops, larger yield and higher quality produce.
He said that most fruit crops and vegetables depend on bee pollination for survival and fruitful yield.
Speaking on behalf of the participants, Mr Oreyemi Adenola and Mr Lateef Sanni, thanked the federal government for the training.
They described the training as an eye-opener and promised to effectively make use of all they learnt to make impact on their farms.
They also assured the federal government that they would see positive result in crop yield and other productions. (NAN)
Edited by Sam Oditah