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Agriculture Ministry embarks on development plan for bee industry

Published:Monday | December 7, 2020 | 3:54 PM
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green (second right), examines data being shown to him by Chief Apiculture Officer in the Ministry, Hugh Smith (second left), following a virtual meeting of beekeepers at the Ministry in Kingston on December 2, 2020. They are joined by acting Chief Technical Director, Michael Pryce, and Permanent Secretary Dermon Spence – Contributed photo.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries will embark on developing a plan for the bee industry in order to ensure its sustainability.

Among the areas it will address are certification of beekeepers, the national digital logging of apiaries, theft experienced by bee farmers, and the expansion of the value chain.

Addressing a virtual meeting of beekeepers last Wednesday, Portfolio Minister, Floyd Green, said the plan will guide the actions of the Ministry over the next five years and will include all stakeholders in its development.  

“One of the things we will have to do is to see how quickly we can streamline that plan and clearly we will have to incorporate all of your views,” he said.

Green also wants a programme of training and capacity building for members of various beekeeper associations that will address the development of business plans and ensure that the associations are functional. 

 To that end, he said contact will be made with the Department of Co-operative and Friendly Societies, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation, and the Social Development Commission to develop a training programme for the associations.

“I believe that if we can strengthen these associations then it will augur well for the industry,” he said.

 Jamaica’s apiculture industry is said to value $2billion and the estimated return on investment valued at around 23 per cent.

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