ZAMBIA – The government of Zambia has officially launched the export of organic honey to China by flagging off the first consignment of 3.4 tons of organic honey worth US$34,000.
The honey was processed by Mpundu World Honey Limited in Kabwe, Central Province.
During the launch, Fisheries and Livestock Minister Kampamba Mulenga said the market access to China is a milestone to Zambia’s diversification and economic growth agenda.
According to her, the export of honey follows the signing of an export protocol by President Edgar Lungu and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jimping during his recent visit to that country.
Mrs. Mulenga called on Bee farmers and out grower schemes to increase the production of Honey, which would find a ready market in China.
Speaking on the development, Mpundu Wild Honey Limited Director Zhang Zhanping said the export of honey to China by Zambia will improve the economies of both countries through employment creation and international trade.
He added that his company plans to increase honey production from the current 3.4 tonnes to 100, 000 tonnes by increasing the number of beekeepers to 1000.
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.
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.
Challenges in the sector include lack of ready market and low standards of production.
South Africa in August imposed a fresh ban on Zambia’s pure honey exports due to a possible contamination with American Foulbrood (Paenibacillus larvae) disease.
This was opposed by Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa, His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Mwamba in a letter to South Africa’s authorities, stating that the ban was done outside procedures and trade regulations.
He urged the authorities in South Africa to immediately reverse the ban on importation of pure honey until the laid down procedures and verification are done between experts from both countries.