The National Agricultural Export Board (Naeb) will increase funding for beekeeping activities to boost the country’s honey output and exports, George Kayonga, the Naeb director general, has said.
He, however, did not reveal how much Naeb would inject in apiary projects.
The development follows the lifting of a ban on Rwanda’s honey by the European Union (EU) recently. The ban was lifted after Rwanda fulfilled the EU market standards required, Kayonga said.
Rwanda is one of the countries that met satisfactory guarantees on the measures used to monitor certain substances, including prohibited hormones, antibiotics or pharmaceuticals and their residues, in the EU.
“It is important now to extend more support to beekeepers to ensure improved output and quality. The move will also help diversify the country’s exports,” Kayonga said on Thursday.
He said Naeb has already started organising beekeepers into groups, and was teaching them better farming practices to enhance production and honey handling methods for better quality.
According to statistics, Rwanda exported honey worth Rwf3.4m in 2012, but spent Rwf2.2b on honey imports in the same year.
However, with the new development honey dealers could fetch close to $3,500 per tonne from the EU market once the exports begin.
Dr Ndambe Nzaramba, the Naeb deputy director general in charge of exports and market operations, said the board will continue supporting efforts to diversify the country’s exports and markets.
This financial year the government is focusing on agribusiness to boost export value and volumes and help improve the country’s foreign exchange reserves.