Recent market trends for honey in Uganda have sent positive signals for a growth trajectory of the sub-sector that is very good news to the industry’s players- what with access of certified honey from the country to EU markets and increasing use of honey as a healthier alternative to sugar in many households in Uganda. However, these gains appear that they might not translate to much as honey producers in the country are unable to increase production by 100% from the current 500,000 MT per annum to meet these emerging market opportunities. The biggest culprit of this status quo is said to be the inability of farmers to adopt modern bee keeping technologies such as high yielding beehives.
According to “The Hive”, an organization that promotes bee-keeping in 12 African countries including Uganda, a modern beehive would yield 54–78kgs of honey per annum; compared to the traditional one which gives very little at the same time destroying the colonies. As such, beekeepers in Uganda are urged to adopt new honey production technologies not only because of increasing demand for honey nationally and internationally but also due to the commensurate increase in demand of other more premium bee products. These calls from the private sector have been backed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) which is imploring farmers to seek advice from district entomology officers to help them in their bee-keeping projects.