Rutendo Rori Mashonaland East Bureau
Allied Timbers Zimbabwe (ATZ) has facilitated bee-keeping training for youths here as part of efforts to empower them and their families.
The programme also seeks to mitigate the effects of climate change by promoting environmental stewardship in communities through provision of sustainable livelihoods options that enhance forest management and conservation.
After handing over certificates to 23 youths, who took part in the bee-keeping training at Mountview Vocational Training Centre last week, ATZ chairman Mr Itai Ndudzo said youths should take advantage of the huge market for honey.
“Harness the opportunity you have been given of making honey,” he said.
“The market for honey is huge considering that it can be used for medicinal purposes.
“In this era of the Covid-19 pandemic, everyone is looking for honey.
“Every tree is an opportunity to do bee-keeping. We have noticed that there is a shortage of youths who can embrace the bee-keeping project and make money out of it.”
Mr Ndudzo urged the youths to desist from the habit of begging and said they should take advantage of self-empowering projects like bee-keeping.
“Bee-keeping is important as it represents and symbolises the biological interdependence that comes from insects, pollination and production of seed,” he said.
Minister of State for Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs and Devolution Senator Aplonia Munzverengwi expressed her gratitude to Allied Timbers and urged the 23 trainees to train other youths in their respective districts.
“I would like to thank Allied Timbers for empowering our youths with knowledge of how to make honey,” she said.
“There are massive opportunities not only to create jobs for youths, but wealth creation through bee-keeping.
“You have taught the youths to easily harness the natural resources, we have to generate income and revenue for survival.
“To the trainees, now that you have been empowered with such skills, do not be selfish with the knowledge, I urge you to impart the knowledge to your fellow youths.”
In Zimbabwe and most other African countries, the full potential of bee-keeping still remains largely untapped.
Wildlife experts in 2019 estimated that Africa’s top honey producing countries could earn an estimated $100 million per year if more is done to promote sustainable bee-keeping through increased
investment and innovation.
Despite all the challenges encountered by bee-keepers, sustainable bee farming has tremendous benefits as it underpins the protection of bees, while at the same time saving forests and providing a steady stream of income and business opportunities.