The Zambian government has officially launched the export of organic honey to China worth 34,000 dollars.
Minister of Fisheries and Livestock, Kampamba Mulenga, flagged off the export of the first assignment of 3.4 tons of organic honey in the central town of Kabwe on Thursday.
Mulenga said the market access to China was a milestone to Zambia’s diversification agenda.
The export of organic honey follows the signing of an export protocol by Zambia and China during the Forum on Africa-China Cooperation (FOCAC) Beijing summit held in September, according to state-broadcaster, the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation.
She appealed to more bee farmers to increase their production now that the market access has been created.
Currently, Zambia’s annual honey production is 2,500 tons and the southern African nation exports 1,000 tons to the European and African market, leaving a surplus of 1,500 tons, she added.
The global landscape of honey supply and demand and the resulting economic impact is changing and Zambia is in a good position to benefit from these changes.
Zambians have been collecting honey and keeping bees for centuries. Trapping and keeping of bees in hives was first recorded in the Angolan part of the Miombo belt, among the Mbunda in Eastern Angola, in 1594.
Beekeeping and honey hunting improve diets for an estimated 250,000 farmers and are an important source of income for 20,000 rural households in Zambia.