By Salisu Sani-Idris
The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, has expressed the determination of the administration to collaborate with resourceful bee farmers toward creating enabling environment for the growth of the Apiculture sector in the territory.
The minister stated this at the commemoration of the 2021 International Bee Day, on Thursday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that UN in 2018 designated May 20 as the International Bee Day in recognition of the significant role that bees play in the sustenance of biodiversity,
It is a day set aside to raise awareness on the importance of bees keeping, bees as pollinators and the need to strengthen measures to ensure their protection and survival.
Beekeeping is the maintenance of bee colonies, commonly in man-made hives, by humans. Most such bees are honey bees in the genus Apis, but other honey-producing bees such as Melipona stingless bees are also kept.
Aliyu identified lack of modern beekeeping techniques and access to modern inputs as some of the major challenges facing the apiculture sector in the nation’s capital.
She affirmed that in spite of the numerous challenges facing bee keeping, the FCT Administration through the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS), had organised various training programmes to expose the farmers to modern techniques in bee production.
Aliyu pledged that the FCT administration would continue to strengthen the existing collaboration with the bee farmers toward sensitising the populace on the importance of bees to human survival as well as the abundant potentials that exist in the sector.
The minister revealed that bees pollinate about 80 per cent of world’s plants and about 90 per cent of food and cash crops.
She stressed that from cosmetics, medicine, confectioneries, and the pharmaceutical industries, the demand for organic honey and other hive products was growing.
“The FCT Administration has over the years, identified with our very resourceful bee farmers toward creating the enabling environment for the growth of the Apiculture sector in the territory.
“In line with the theme of this year’s event, “Bee Engaged”, the FCT Administration is determined to strengthen the existing collaboration with the FCT Bee Farmers toward sensitising the populace on the importance of bees to human survival.
“And, the abundant potentials that exist in the sector,” she said.
The minister gave assurance that as part of women and youth empowerment initiatives, youths from the rural communities of the FCT would be encouraged and organised into clusters and trained to take up bee-keeping as a source of livelihood.
Earlier, the Acting Secretary, FCT ARDS, Mr Prospect Ibe, said that the secretariat through the Department of Forestry had been providing support toward the development of the sector.
Ibe also revealed that the department had equally been making efforts to organise the members of the association into effective cooperative groups to ensure better coordination of support programmes.
According to her, this will position them to assess financial support facilities. (NAN)