An initiative to enhance honey production in Rwanda has been launched through a partnership between the African Development Bank (AfDB) and a national women’s organization focused on women’s economic empowerment in the country, the Organization pour la Promotion de la Contribution Active de la Femme Rwandaise au Development (SERUKA).
The AfDB has approved $343, 000 for SERUKA to implement the Rwanda Honey Value Chain Project which will work to build the capacity of honey production cooperatives to access formal markets by providing them with equipment to improve production; honey production training in accordance with the Apiary Code; and in basic business skills.
The project will also rehabilitate the Murambi Honey Collection Centre to meet the certification requirements of the Rwanda Standards Board and provide candle-making equipment to add value to the Centre’s by-products.
“The project is going to boost our incomes as beekeepers in the region as we will have increased production of honey,” said Rwabuhungu Venant, President of the Murambi Honey Collections Centre.
It will also equip the Centre to bypass intermediaries and interact directly with the external market.
SERUKA will facilitate linkages between the collection centre and established retails chains, processors and exporters in the project targeting to benefit one thousand residents of Rulindo District, 80 per cent of whom are women.
Halima Hashi, Principal Country Program Officer, AfDB Rwanda noted that the Rwandan Government has identified agriculture as a key growth driver.
“In line with this, the Rwanda Agriculture Board is promoting the apiary sub-sector- including bee and bee products and silkworm production under the category of commercial insects. This project will also support women’s empowerment in the apiary sub-sector by effectively participating in the value chain,” Hashi added.
The project will have a Steering Committee made up of all key Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as private sector representatives to ensure coherence with Government plans.
The grant is provided through the Africa Trade Fund (AfTRA), which the AfDB aims to expand into the biggest trade facility in Africa.