SIMON MUNTEMBA writes
BEE farmers in Kabwe, in Central Province, have exported more than 10 metric tonnes of honey worth $100,000 to China, following the signing of a protocol agreement between Zambia and China.
In an interview with the Sun, Central Province Permanent Secretary Bernard Chomba said Mpundu World Honey in Kabwe has exported more than 10 metric tonnes of honey to China.
Mr Chomba said the first consignment of 3.4 metric tonnes, worth $34,000, was shipped to Beijing in October last year, while the other batch worth $70,000, was exported last December.
He said the Chinese firm, the only company allowed to export honey to China, is currently working with more than 300 bee farmers in Central Province.
Mr Chomba said all the honey was harvested by skilled company employees and processed at its plant in Kabwe before being exported to China.
Mr Chomba said he recently toured the plant and has urged the company to expand its operations by supporting more farmers in the province.
He said Central Province has good forests and climatic conditions for honey production, particularly in Kapiri Mposhi, Luano and Itezhi-tezhi,which required exploring.
Mr Chomba also urged the company director, Zhang Zhanging, to explore the local market instead of producing only for export to China.
According to Mr Chomba, the export of honey to China follows the signing of a protocol by President Edgar Lungu and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jingping, during a visit to the Asian country in September last year.
Zambia’s annual honey production is about 2,500 tonnes but figures so far suggest that the country only exports 1,000 tonnes to Europe and African Union member states.