The Federal Government has indicated its readiness to tap into foreign exchange (Forex) earnings opportunities of honey exports as part of its sustained fiscal initiatives to boost non-oil sector revenue of the economy.

Nigeria will soon join some nations such as Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Benin, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Ethiopia, Cameroon and Ghana for honey exports after securing accreditation and certification of its honey from the European Union Commission.

The Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, gave this hint on Thursday at the official flag off ceremony for the national sensitization of APIEXPO Africa 2018, held in Abuja.

The Minister expressed displeasure that Nigeria still remained one of the countries that have not tapped into Apiculture to the fullest, despite its position as number one world producer of maize with a total of 10 million tons per yearly and second largest producer of sorghum/millet .

Ogbeh called on bee keepers and other stakeholders to encourage more Nigerians to embrace Apiculture which has lots of benefits such as job creation, food security and livelihood improvement.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Bukar Hassan who was ably represented by the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA), Dr. Aminu Babandi highlighted the main objectives of Apitrade Africa as the promotion of trade in bee production which will further boost the nation’s Apiculture and attract more investments in the sector.

He said that Apiculture offers opportunities for job creation, food security and livelihood improvement.

Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of Apiculture Africa, Mr. Bosco Okello, while delivering a paper on “The Impact of ApiExpo Africa on the Honey Bee Industry”, noted that the Expo was for economic drive, social mobilization and implementation of friendly policies by governments in addition to boosting tourism and encouragement of trade in products and equipment.

Development partners and stakeholders who were represented at the occasion and presented good will messages include the European Union, UNIDO, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), the National Apiculture Platform (NAP) and Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) underscored the importance of Bee keeping in the country.

All the development partners congratulated Nigeria for securing the hosting rights for the ApiExpo Africa 2018 and pledged their support to make the Expo a huge success.

Highlights of the flag off was the handing over of the symbolic honey touch to the Minister by the Chief Executive Officer of Apitrade Africa and the subsequent handing over of the touch to the Chairman of the APIEXPO Africa 2018, Dr. Mrs. Dooshima Kwange.

“The ApiExpo Africa 2018 …beyond the Hives” main event will come up in September, in Abuja with the theme “Beekeeping Industry for Sustainable Development: Wealth Creation and Economic Diversification.”