The European Union (EU) and the Belgian Development Agency (Enabel) are signing a partnership with the Tanzanian authorities for the production of sustainable honey. A project will support local beekeepers with an investment of 10 million dollars.
The agreement to implement this sustainable beekeeping development project was signed recently in Brussels, Belgium, between Jean Van Wetter, Director General of the Belgian Development Agency (Enabel), and Pamela Coke-Hamilton, the Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), a joint agency of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the United Nations (UN).
The project funded by the European Union (EU) through Enabel will be implemented in at least six regions in Tanzania. The $10 million project aims to improve the beekeeping value chain, contributing to sustainable economic growth in honey producing areas. The EU initiative will be implemented in partnership with the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism (MNRT) and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (MITI).
Support for environmentally friendly honey production
Within this framework, Enabel will collaborate with ITC for the implementation of the component “Market access and trade of beekeeping products”. Specifically, this involves institutional capacity building for the establishment of an enabling environment for actors in the beekeeping value chain. These actors will be trained to improve the management of bee reserves and apiaries. ITC will also be responsible for enhancing market access and trade in bee products.
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Tanzania is the second largest producer of honey on the African continent with an annual average of 8,000 tonnes, far behind Ethiopia (45,300 tonnes per year), according to Norton Rose Fulbright. At the same time, the East African country is the leading African supplier of honey to Europe. “The beekeeping sector still has enormous growth potential. Its development can substantially increase the income of many rural households and businesses, and contribute significantly to environmental conservation. The project will create more opportunities for trade and employment and open up inclusive access to local, regional and international markets,” explains Enabel.
Honey-producing bees are a key component of plant diversity. These insects feed on flower nectar. As such, they help to pollinate plants. Enabel believes that the project launched with the EU and ITC will support the production of “high quality honey in an environmentally sustainable manner” in order to increase the country’s penetration of the national and international markets.
Jean Marie Takouleu