ETHIOPIA – Ethiopian authorities have drafted a bill, waiting approval and endorsement from the Council of Ministers (CoM) seeking to regulate honey production and its value chain right from the farm to export.
The graft grants bee farm owners, honey producers, wholesalers and exporters access to information on product quality, market price and the packaging process.
It also sets standards and grades for the products limits trading honey to a floor which is going to be established after the legislation of the proclamation.
It entails a regulation or directive that limits an individual from purchasing honey products beyond a certain amount in the country and outside the country.
To solve problems in the honey production and market value chain, the draft pronounces fines and sentences for those who violate the conditions including a US$36.30 fine along with a six-month-sentence to US$3,630 and a 15-year-sentence.
Bee production in the country is faced with major challenges including low quantity and quality of honey, lack of financial resources, lack of proper training and efficient management.
“Bee farming and honey processing have serious problems in product gathering, transportation and processing,” said Edmealem Haile, a legal expert at MoLF.
“This leads to a quality problem regarding the products, which includes adulteration of exportable ones.”
Ethiopia produces 50,000tn of honey a year, exporting only 800tn of it, mainly to member states of the European Union.
According to Edmealem, despite the fact that the local honey product is sufficiently organic, insufficient supplies weighs heavily on foreign exchange.