Rwanda and Singapore to partner in honey production

The mega deal will help farmers transition to modern hives rather than traditional one

The mega deal will help farmers transition to modern hives

Apairy Ltd, a Singapore company has expressed interest to partner with Rwandans in the honey production chain and buy their products a move that will see Rwanda bee farmers improve their production.

Rwanda has set an ambitious target to triple its production capacity by 2018 to meet growing demand both locally and globally.

Rwanda’s model of economic development has been built and based on the Singapore, and the copying the Singapore Agricultural system is one thing Rwanda has done.

Once finalized, a new deal worth $ 3 million (Rwf2.1 billion) between the Singaporean investor and Rwandan government will see Rwandan honey producing cooperatives from across the country gain skills and technical know-how from Singapore experts.

Apairy will directly work with the honey producers to upgrade their knowledge and provide them with modern equipment to increase productivity; and also buy all the produced honey and supply it to international markets.

Rwanda’s State Minister for Agriculture, Tony Nsanganira, commended the initiative saying that honey producing cooperatives will greatly benefit and transform the technology from the traditional ones.

Nsanganira added the ambitious target can be achieved easily once beekeepers enhance their knowledge and use modern hives not only to increase production, but also meet export standards.

“We need to put emphasis on increasing production in agriculture. This is really a model that we are promoting not only for honey, but other sectors” he said.

“A traditional beehive can produce between 3 and 5 kg of honey while a modern beehive can produce up to 90 kg per year; hence a great need to increase modern hives” said Martin Mutabazi, a local honey producer who is looking forward to benefitting from the deal.

Beekeepers in Rwanda mainly operate in four main areas; Nyungwe, Gishwati, Virunga and Akagera.. Currently Rwanda counts around 80,000 honey producers owning more than 90,000 hives of which 70% are traditional hives.