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Oku Honey: High demand

According to internationally consolidated statistics, in 2015, Cameroon produced 3341 tonnes of honey and exported 900. Such production is largely exported to Nigeria and Europe where demand is growing. The high demand for Oku honey shows high prospects for the beekeeping sector. This will provide jobs to private investors who can produce, collect or package this non-timber forest product.

Since the African Intellectual Property Organisation patented the Oku honey in 2013, its price has steadily increased. It leaped from 1,500 F per litre to about 5,000 F. It still has good prospects because its label gives it some guarantee regarding quality and therefore an increase in producer income, and better access to international markets. However, to ensure optimal benefits of labelling, there should be an extension of cultivated areas, the creation of packaging plants and the establishment of the transport system.

Currently, the honey production system in Cameroon is extensive and semi-intensive. In Mbouda in the Bamboutos department, for example, around a hundred beekeepers operating under a Common Initiative Group (CIG) Beekeepers and Agro-Foresters of Bamendjo harvest about 700 litres of honey a year, which they export to the United States, France and Canada. The modernisation of their production method could enable increase their product. Presently, the Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER) is working to modernise and intensify production and improve the quality of honey through the training and supervision of private bee farmers. The government of Cameroon has also opted to create hive stations, select and breed better producing colonies and open honey collection, processing and packaging centres.

(Source / Cameroon Business Today No. 043 from 14 to 20 February 2018)