The role of apiculture for sustainable development in different Ethiopian agro-ecological zones is highly recognized as these activities are less affected by drought than other agricultural activities. There are approximately 1.5 million beekeepers in Ethiopia and 8 to 10 million bee colony hives. With its unique characteristics including its white, gold, and red coloration, Ethiopia is an important source for specialty organic honey. Currently, 80% of Ethiopian honey is used for Tej (honey wine), 5% rural household consumption and 15% marketed as table honey (both domestic and export).
The Oromia, Amhara and SNNP regions represent 46%, 24% and 22% of Ethiopia’s honey production, respectively, and produce honey in colors ranging from light to dark amber. Tigray produces 5% of the country’s honey, which is of a distinct white color. Ethiopia is Africa‘s largest producer and ranks 9th in the world with a current national estimated honey production of 54,000 MT per year. About 5% of honey produced is consumed at home by rural households, 80% goes to the tej sector and 15% is marketed as table honey (both domestic and export). There are three types of bee hives used for practical beekeeping in Ethiopia: traditional, transitional and modern hives. About 95.5% of the honey produced nationally is sourced from traditional beehives.
AGP Honey Activities
The objective of the AGP-AMDe intervention on the honey value chain is to increase the quantity and quality of honey production to meet the domestic and international demand for quality table honey as well as to promote other honey by-products. AGP-AMDe provides the following honey value chain support in AGP woredas in all four regions:
Enhancing productivity of farmers through promoting the establishment of standards and guidelines as well as helping to establish quality parameters for the production, processing and product differentiation of honey. Improved market linkages and development of marketing campaigns are core activities undertaken to raise the profile of high-quality Ethiopian honey in both the domestic and international markets. As a result of these activities, 8 Ethiopian honey exporters, processors, FCUs were enabled to exhibit at Apimondia 2013 in Ukraine. Additionally, Parodi Apiculture, one of the biggest honey and beeswax traders and processors in the world had numerous meetings with an Ethiopian delegation and intends to finalize contracts with more than 4 Ethiopian suppliers.
Technology transfer support by supporting the modernization of existing practices of raising bees and honey harvesting for improvement in quality. As a result beneficiaries of this project have improved their utilization of modern beekeeping eq