Nigeria has won the right to host the 2018 edition of Africa’s apex bee-keeping stakeholders’ event – the ApiExpo Africa. During the recently concluded ApiExpo Africa 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda, Nigeria was awarded the honour to host the next edition of ApiExpo Africa in 2018 in the nation’s capital, Abuja.
This disclosure was made recently by chairman of Nigeria Apiculture Platform – Mr. Ademola Adeshina, when he led industry stakeholders on a visit to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to brief the Hon. Minister on the development.
Speaking during the visit, Mr. Adeshina described the hosting right awarded to Nigeria as a huge opportunity to boost local and international trade which will in turn increase the GDP of the country.
“There will be diversification of the apiculture industry with the introduction of new and relevant technologies and exposure to global trade platforms as the various participating countries and manufacturers that will come into the country will link up with local producers, processors and bee-keepers and this will generate foreign exchange for us” Adeshina added.
Highpoint of the visit was the presentation of the ApiExpo Africa flag to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development – Chief Audu Ogbeh followed by the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the ministry on Nigeria’s ApiExpo hosting right.
Briefing the minister on the activities of the inter-ministerial committee on Apiculture, Director, Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services of the Ministry – Dr. Mrs. Dooshima Kwange emphasised that hosting the ApiExpo 2018 would be of enormous benefits to Nigeria as a country, adding that to formalise the hosting right of the APIEXPO, Nigeria is required to pay a bid fee of 50,000 USD by the end of 2016; duly sign the MOU and put an APIEXPO Africa Organising Committee in place.
She lauded the current attention being given to Nigeria’s Apiculture for the first time in an effort to diversify the economy by the present administration and as captured in the Agriculture Policy Roadmap, 2016.
In his response, Hon. Minister – Chief Audu Ogbeh said Nigeria’s import bill on honey per annum from China stands at about a 100,000,000 USD even with questionable quality of some of the honey being imported.
The Minister applauded the planned initiative to boost honey production in the country and encouraged Nigerians to eat food produced in Nigeria so as to further prevent self-poisoning through imported food.
Chief Ogbeh also challenged the Association to explore new knowledge in Bee keeping that could help boost the honey and Bee business in the country adding that there are plans to distribute Bee hives to farmers in the country.
Speaking on the payment deadline for the bid fee, the Minister said the fund was not readily available and advised that the Association appeal for extension of time from the Organizers, for ample time to source for the fund.