An expert in charge of Apiculture at Audu Bako College of Agriculture in Kano State, Dauda Abbas has said that Nigeria has the potential of producing 20 million litres of honey annually.
Speaking at a three-day training on poultry, fisheries and bee-keeping organised for members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Monday in Katsina, he disclosed that Nigeria presently produce two million litres of honey.
‘‘The current production of honey liquid in Nigeria is two million but the expected production is 20 million. We have the potential to produce that because majority of bee species in Africa reside in Nigeria due to favourable climatic conditions. However, Tanzania and Kenya produce more honey than Nigeria,’’ Abbas said.
While stating that Adamawa, Kogi, Nasarawa, and Kaduna States as well as the Federal Capital Territory were producing most of the nation’s honey, the expert expressed regret that Nigeria was producing below its capacity in honey due to lack of commitment from government.
‘‘We have all the climatic conditions that bees required, only that we are not encouraged to live up to expectations; this aspect of agriculture is neglected by the government. People consider bees as nuisance but bees are friends that can live with human beings at homes, farms, forests and elsewhere. So, we need more enlightenment on that by the media,’’ he said.
Abbas said that beekeeping was not a capital-intensive venture because all that was required was to mount hives for bees to produce honey and ensure places for them to collect nectar from trees.
He revealed that honey could be used for medicinal purposes, adding that bees produce venom that could be used for treatment of rashes, cancer, stroke and hypertension.
Observing that government could also generate employment opportunities through honey production, Abbas advised all tiers of government in the country to focus attention on bees keeping.