Rusternburg – In its quest to accelerate the growth and development of beekeepers in the province, the MEC for Agricultire and Rural Development in the North West Desbo Mohono has officially launched the North West Province Beekeepers Association (NWPBA) last Friday, 19 May 2023 during the Provincial World Bee Day celebration event held in Luka Village near Rusternburg.
Themed: “BEE ENGAGED: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems”, this year’s event was aimed at heightening awareness about the influence of the bee economy and to enhance the participation of rural women and young people in the apiculture sector.
The launched association which is represented in the South African Beekeepers Industry Organisation and the Honey Judges and Guild of South Africa as adjudicating team (HJT), is expected to also tackle challenges such as market access that are faced within in the apiculture sector.
The team led by Chairperson Kenalemang Mooketsi and Secretary Nkwe Metswamere have assumed their duties and are dedicated to elevating the provision of resources, training of their members and offer support. “We aim to encourage the improvement and advancement of Apiculture within North West by promoting the exchange of ideas between members, the public and other institutions as well as endorse and safeguard the interests of apiarists in general by ensuring that honey, hives and other derivatives comply with standards established by government” said Kenalemang.
During her address, MEC Desbo Mohono said government is ready to assist aspirant beekeepers’ as there is an abundance of opportunities within the sector. “Training of beekeepers will be prioritised and intensified. We will also continue to robustly market and position beekeeping in the province as a poverty reducing tool. Just as we are committed to improving the fortunes of beekeepers and to advancing shared prosperity for all, so too is our commitment to achieving a large pool of real Beekeeper’s in the entire province,” said MEC Mohono.
Proceedings of the day were also marked by a visit to Thethe Secondary School, where an awareness drive was executed. Learners were educated on the importance of bees, their role in the agricultural ecosystem and monetary value. Grade twelve learner Ditiro Selemela expressed excitement about the information they received. “We appreciate that the department saw it fit to open our imagination to the world of bees and how we can start sustainable businesses from them. As learners, our role is to now share what we were taught today and share it with our communities as well as those close to us. We’ve always known bees to be dangerous but as of now, we will take care of them and continue to research about apiculture. Some of us here today have definitely benefited from this session, and maybe as we start our journeys next year as young adults, we will enter the industry as beekeepers,“ Selemela expressed.
The number of beekeepers in North West continues to rise as more people especially youth, are showing an interest in the sector. The department’s database has grown from five (5) in 2019 to eighty (80) beekeepers and MEC has called on all apiarists across all four districts of the Province to register on its database.
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