The Transforming Agriculture through Diversification and Entrepreneurship (Trade) Programme has said Malawi is failing to satisfy existing international market demand for honey and other honey products, thereby losing out.
Trade National Programme Coordinator Felix Lombe disclosed this in Lilongwe on Monday during an engagement with honey producers.
Lombe said currently, the country produces around 30,00mt of honey against a local demand of 200,000mt.
He said international market honey producers in Malawi are struggling to meet the needed quality standards, hence the need for more capacity building and trainings for bee keepers.
“Statistics of the year we did very well show that we produced about 70,000mt. Otherwise, our average is around 30,000mt which is too low if compared to the local demand which hovers around 200,000mt. What is means is that we are losing out on revenue and of course forex,” Lombe said.
He said at a time when most of the agriculture products that Malawi has relied on for the economy are not doing well, honey has the potential to become the country’s economic mainstay.
“Honey is needed world over for dietary considerations and if as a country we stick to the quality prescriptions honey has high economic potential and it’s important for us as a nation to consider pouring our resources in it,” Lombe explained.
Trade programme is working with 127,000 bee keepers in Malawi.
One of the bee farmers Lestina Nhlema of Northern Honey Processors bemoaned lack of adequate knowledge in honey processing among bee farmers.
The Trade programme aims at improving rural livelihoods through commercialised agriculture targeting seven value chains of honey, irish potatoes, sunflower, soya beans, groundnuts and milk.