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Research Report

Small-scale woodland-based enterprises with outstanding economic potential: The case of honey in Zambia

G. Mickels-Kokwe
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2006
Pages: 94
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-4)

    The study on small-scale woodland-based enterprises with outstanding economic potential is a case study into honey production and beekeeping potential in Zambia. The study has been commissioned by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and contributes to the Sida-funded project on Africa’s Dry Forests initiative in Zambia

    The key aim of the study is to generate sufficient information and discussion on the bee-keeping or honey and beeswax industry to support efforts by government to develop a beekeeping policy. The specific tasks of the case study were to:

    1. Characterize or put into context the beekeeping industries in selected Provinces in...

  2. (pp. 5-30)

    The prevailing assumption is that Zambia has suitable environmental conditions for beekeeping and that the industry therefore has great future potential to contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction across the nation. How firm is the ground on which these visions rest? To what extent have recent rampant trends of forest degradation affected this potential? This chapter sets the scene by examining the bio-physical conditions for beekeeping and the relationship between beekeepers and the forests.

    Two different types of “honey” producing insects occur in Zambia. There appears to be little ecological competition between the two, although the two groups at...

  3. (pp. 31-42)

    Most authors on beekeeping in Zambia have stressed its potential significance to and compatibility with most national development goals. ZFAP (1997, p.106-107) wrote

    “Zambia is a traditional beekeeping country. It has immense potential to increase production. Presently, the national domestic demand alone is between 100-150 tonnes per annum, which has never been met. It is therefore imperative that the beekeeping industry be developed to levels where the domestic demand is met and surplus produced for export. The domestic demand for beeswax is large though most wax is exported, thus serving as an important source of foreign exchange for the nation.”...

  4. (pp. 43-58)

    At present, the commercial bee products in Zambia are honey and beeswax. There is no trade in other bee products, e.g. royal jelly, bee venom and propolis. In 2003, the total estimated production of honey in Zambia was at 1,500 metric tonnes of which 200 MT was traded within the country and some 250 MT exported to Europe.63 For 2004, the estimate was more than 400 MT exported.

    Existing data64 shows that honey and beeswax production in Zambia has been substantial, but fluctuating. Figure 2 shows an estimation of smallholder honey production and sales over the period 1964-1996. Production estimates...

  5. (pp. 59-66)

    This report has shown that the honey and beeswax industry in Zambia has an outstanding economic potential, but that this potential comes with challenges and constraints. This chapter will address some of the fundamental questions regarding the realistic potential for beekeeping in Zambia.

    1. How is the beekeeping industry organised in Zambia? Does it conform with the NWFP markets in general, or does it resemble the more established agro- and food industry? What can we say about beekeeping sector performance? What are the sector constraints and opportunities and what are their implications?

    The beekeeping industry in Zambia comprises two marketing chains,...

  6. (pp. 67-70)

    The above discussion has identified a number of recommendations to the FD of Zambia and CIFOR on researchable issues and interventions that would further enhance not only the honey and beeswax sector but small-scale woodland based enterprises more generally, in Zambia and the region. Furthermore, the report draws conclusions and makes recommendations on a number of issues pertaining to the beekeeping sector in Zambia. This section summarises the recommendations in their order of appearance in the main report.

    There is need to conclusively identify the African honey bee race (Apis mellifera adansonii or scutellata) present in Zambia;

    The incorporation of...