Despite Ghana having one of the best climatic conditions suitable for Beekeeping and honey production, the country imports more than 600 tons of honey worth millions of cedis every month.
Also, data from the Federation of Ghana Bee Keepers Association (FGBA) showed that about 70% of Ghana’s vegetation supports Beekeeping, some 60% of Honey consumed or for manufacturing purposes originate from foreign markets, including Burkina Faso.
The FGBA has estimated Ghana’s honey potential to be around 500,000 tons per annum, worth about USD $1.5 billion.
Honey is produced in almost all 16 regions of Ghana. However, Eastern Region, Volta Region, Bono Region and Bono East Region of Ghana boasts of the largest numbers of beekeepers in Ghana.
It against this background that the Board of the Ghana Export-Import (GEXIM) Bank has partnered with Slovenia to launch a beekeeping support project worth GH12 million to boost the development of beekeeping in Ghana.
The project was launched last week at a one-day Beekeeping stakeholder workshop held at the African Trade Centre here in Accra.
The event gathered Beekeepers, financial players in the industry, sector organisations like Bees for development Ghana, the Slovenian Business Delegation led by Alexa Mizigoj and President of the Ghana Slovenian Business Club, Mr. Yelewere.
Prior to the stakeholders Meeting, there was a bilateral meeting between the two parties at the GEXIM Board Room on the 7th October 2020.
The Board of the Bank in line with Slovenia’s pledge to support ongoing efforts by African countries towards the realization of the United Nation’s Sustainable Developmental Goals and priorities set out in the agenda 2063 by the African Union, on 9th October 2019 approved the co-operation between Ghana and Slovenia for the development of the honey industry.
Addressing the workshop, the CEO of the bank, Lawrence Agyinsam at the launch of the Beekeeping Development Project (BeDP) demonstrated the Bank’s commitment to helping the bee industry.
Mr. Agyinsam lamented that despite the nation’s potential to produce honey on a large scale, millions of cedis are lost exporting the product.
He said, “Ghana is reported to be having one of the best climatic conditions suitable for bee and honey. Despite this condition, the country imports more than 600 tons worth of honey worth millions of cedis every month.”
Mr. Agyinsam disclosed that as part of measures to boost the beekeeping industry in Ghana, the Board of the bank has approved an amount of GHC12 million to support the beekeeping project.
“Ghana means business. Ghana, and for that matter, GEXIM stands ready to support the development of the beekeeping industry into a world-class producer of bee-related products for export.
“This initiative will no doubt help all bee value chain players and to provide financial freedom, eradicate poverty, and generally empower the vulnerable and deprived in our society,” he added.
Addressing the meeting, Madam Alesa Mizigoj, Head of the Slovenian delegation and CEO of Medex Slovenia said, her team is happy to collaborate with the Bank and all stakeholders in the Ghana Bee Industry to conduct a study on the different species of bee found in Ghana, which would inform them on developing the right machinery needed for Ghana.
The Beekeeping Development Project (BeDP) is an initiative to improve the beekeeping industry through large scale production and export of honey. The two-year project will be implemented in two phases.
The first phase, which is the feasibility phase, will be completed within six months and the second, the pilot phase, will last for 18 months from the date of the project launch.
The Board of the Ghana Export-Import (GEXIM) Bank earlier approved the co-operation between Ghana and Slovenia for the development of the honey industry.
This is part of Slovenia’s pledge to support African countries towards the realization of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and priorities set out in the Agenda 2063 by the African Union.