By Stanley Onyekwere
The FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has expressed the determination of the FCT Administration to collaborate with resourceful bee farmers towards creating the enabling environment for the growth of the Apiculture sector in the Territory.
Aliyu, who stated this at the commemoration of 2021 International Bee Day in Abuja, however, identified lack of modern bee-keeping techniques and access to modern inputs as some of the major challenges facing the Apiculture sector in the nation’s capital.
She, however, affirmed that despite the numerous challenges facing bee keeping, the FCT Administration through the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) has organised various training programmes to expose the farmers to modern techniques in bee production.
The Minister used the occasion to pledge that the administration would continue to strengthen the existing collaboration with the FCT Bee Farmers towards sensitising the populace on the importance of bees to human survival as well as the abundant potentials that exist in the sector.
While speaking on the significance of bees to human existence, the minister revealed that bees pollinate about 80 percent of world’s plants and about 90 percent of food and cash crops, stressing that from cosmetics, medicine, confectioneries, and the pharmaceutical industries, the demand for organic honey and other hive products is growing.
“The FCT Administration has over the years, identified with our very resourceful bee farmers towards creating the enabling environment for the growth of the Apiculture sector in the Federal Capital Territory.
“And 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 towards sensitising the populace on the importance of bees to human survival as well as the abundant potentials that exist in the sector”, he stressed.
The Minister, assured 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.
In his opening remarks, the Ag. Secretary FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mr. Prospect Ibe, stressed that the Secretariat through the Department of Forestry has been providing support towards the development of the sector.
He also revealed that the department has equally been making efforts to organise the members of the Association into effective cooperative groups to ensure better coordination of support programmes as well as positioning them to assess financial support facilities.
Recall that in recognition of the significant role that bees play in the sustenance of biodiversity, the United Nations Organisation, (UNO) in 2018 designated May 20th as the International Bee Day. It is a day set aside to raise awareness on the importance of bees as pollinators and the need to strengthen measures to ensure their protection and survival.