Training for Bee Farmers

Photo: Glenis Rose Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, addressing farmers at the Hanover Bee Farmers’ Cooperative Society Annual General Meeting at the Global Villa Hotel in Hanover recently.

Story Highlights

  • To strengthen the apiculture industry to respond to climate change and associated challenges, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries provided specialised training for 14 beekeepers and eight staff members of the Apiculture Unit.
  • This was noted by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, when he addressed farmers at the Annual General Meeting of the Hanover Bee Farmers’ Cooperative Society Ltd., held at the Global Villa Hotel in Lucea, Hanover, recently.
  • He informed that the Ministry had also been conducting food-safety training seminars to ensure that the highest quality of hive products are available for both the local and export markets.

To strengthen the apiculture industry to respond to climate change and associated challenges, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries provided specialised training for 14 beekeepers and eight staff members of the Apiculture Unit.

The training was funded by a grant of US$25,000 under the Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change (JA REEACH) project.

This was noted by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, when he addressed farmers at the Annual General Meeting of the Hanover Bee Farmers’ Cooperative Society Ltd., held at the Global Villa Hotel in Lucea, Hanover, recently.

“The apiculture industry is not without its challenges, one such being climate change. Generally speaking, Jamaica’s agricultural sector is vulnerable to the impacts of global climate change, with the apiculture subsector being no exception,” Mr. Hutchinson said.

He pointed out that research and observations at the global level indicate that climate change and variability were negatively affecting the honey-bee physiology and development as well as hive products.

“The information gained from the training was used to develop a vulnerability matrix for the beekeeping industry, which was packaged and given to beekeepers to increase their resilience to better cope with climate change,” the Minister said.

He informed that the Ministry had also been conducting food-safety training seminars to ensure that the highest quality of hive products are available for both the local and export markets.

“The training sessions, which were held in collaboration with the Food Safety Committee, highlighted the importance of food safety for the local and export agricultural produce trade, good agricultural practices in apiculture, European Union requirements for bee-product trading and record-keeping systems for safe food,” the Minister said.

He indicated that work is in progress on the review of the Bee Control Act, which would be made available for public scrutiny in short order.

Pointing out that the beekeeping industry is a fast growing one, moving from 15,673 managed hives in 2005 to approximately 48,000 hives in 2016, Mr. Hutchinson said the sector is projected to earn $1.8 billion in 2017.

“I want to encourage more persons to get involved in beekeeping, especially those who may now be unemployed. As a beekeeper, you do not require a large acreage to establish an apiary. It is not labour-intensive and if managed responsibly, the returns on your investment can be significant,” the Minister said.

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