Rwamagana bee farmers get training

Japanese Oversees Cooperation Volunteers (JOVCA) in collaboration with Rwanda Agriculture Board (Rab), yesterday, started a two-day bee-keeping workshop in Rwamagana.

Japanese Oversees Cooperation Volunteers (JOVCA) in collaboration with Rwanda Agriculture Board (Rab), yesterday, started a two-day bee-keeping workshop in Rwamagana.

Members of 10 cooperatives from the Eastern Province attended the training.

According to Dr Christine Kanyandekwe, the deputy director-general of Rab, the aim was to sensitise bee farmers in the country to fully embrace the practice.

Kanyandekwe said farmers were trained on modern methods of bee farming, noting that it was high time farmers left traditional ways of bee keeping.

“Bee farming must be professionalised. It takes very small space or land, yet it is so profitable. Farmers must improve the quality of honey, to compete on international market. People involved have made good fortune, we want more cooperatives to engage in this type of farming,” she said.

Kanyandekwe said the workshop was also meant to show the Japanese Agency for International Development, as one of the key partners of Rab, the level at which bee keeping had reached.

She added that Rwanda had a vision of more than doubling production, by the year 2020, lamenting that the challenges farmers faced included insufficient supply of honey to the market.

“We harvest 4,050 tonnes annually, but our vision by 2020 is 13,800 tonnes per year. The problem we have is a large market that we can’t satisfy. The other problem is HIV-like virus that attacks bees, but this one has a solution,” Kanyandekwe said.

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