Meru County Government has invested in a mission to research and map-out most suitable areas for beekeeping in all the 11 sub-counties.
Speaking to the media in his office, County Cultural Centre CEO, Robert Kinyua, said the Centre had been entrusted with the task of partnering with the National Research Institute, for the required technical and professional assistance, in coming up with an authentic research report for implementation.
Kinyua said the objective of the mission, was to ensure all the economic potential lying idle in beekeeping, was fully brought out to the benefit of individual farmers and the larger county economic development and growth.
The CEO said along with the ongoing research and mapping activities across the County, the County had already established a pilot phase in all sub-counties, where 4,000 modern beehives had been put in place in bee villages established in each sub-county, making it 44,000 across the region.
He said the Cultural Centre had concluded a training program for about 110 potential bee farmers drawn from the 11 sub-counties, after which the County appointed 10 of them to manage sub-county bee villages.
Kinyua said the trained cohorts were expected to cascade the knowledge and skills gained to others in the community, through venturing into commercial bee farming in their respective individual farm level, for purposes of being demonstration farms for all interested farmers.
The CEO said the County targets to have about 10,000 beehives in each sub-county, with a production of over 40kg of honey per beehive on a single harvest.
‘The County expects to harvest about 13,200 tons of honey from the sub-county bee villages annually and a total income of about Sh.6.6billion, since a kilo of honey was selling at Sh.500.’Kinyua said.
Kinyua said the County Government was committed to fully exploit the potential, currently lying-in beekeeping in all the sub-counties, saying besides being an alternative income for farmers and the County, it would cushion horticulture and rain fed crop farmers from exploitation by traders and brokers, who keep on lowering farm produce prices to boost their profits and commissions.
By Makaa Margaret