The Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) has recently launched the Honey Marketing and Branding Research Campaign, which seeks to improve the local producers and exporters’ capacity to achieve international quality and standards requirements.
The campaign has been developed with the support of the International Trade Centre (ITC) under the Road Map for Developing & Strengthening of the Honey Sector in Zambia, which seeks to reduce the copper-dependency for the country’s foreign exchange earnings and support the economy’s diversification by promoting non-traditional exports (NTEs) as those from the apiculture industry.
The campaign is based on the creation of different brands for ten market chains, a process that will help to directly position honey products from farmers to supermarkets for their correct identification in both local and regional markets, as the ZDA is planning a trade mission to Botswana in April, 2016, explained ZDA Director Export Development Jonathan Simwawa.
The campaign is key in providing the links required to support the economy’s diversification since it concentrates on the specific NTEs sectors that have the real potential to create jobs and generate incomes for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) across the country, Mr. Simwawa added.
According to Mr. Simwawa, the United Kingdom is the largest importer of honey from Zambia followed by Norway, South Africa, Botswana, Mauritius, and Zimbabwe, therefore, producers of honey products will count with all the support as foreign exhibitions and research activities in those markets, such as local technical assistance and export awareness campaigns.
According to the ITC, the fields where honey producers need the most support are in post-harvest management, processing technologies and packaging materials, variety of products, quality management systems and certifications as well as market research.
According to the United Nations (UN), Zambia’s honey industry has been recording steady growth in the last years with production values growing by 91.6% from approximately 523 tonnes totaling USD 0.68 million in 2010 to 1,000 tonnes totaling USD 1.31 million in 2012 and by 12.35% from the amount recorded in 2012 to over 1,130 tonnes USD 1.47 million in 2013.
However, Zambia is underperforming its capacity since solely in the North Western Province there is a capacity potential of 30,000 tonnes per year according to the Swedish National Board of Trade.