Sustainable industry

A bee farmer tending to her honey-makers. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE success of bee farming relies heavily on experience which means that farmers need to be knowledgeable in farming procedures to ensure the success of their farms.

Bee farmer and Australian specialist Chuck Mckay shared this with returned seasonal workers during the Return Seasonal Workers workshop in Labasa this week.

Mr McKay said the successful management of a farm depended on 70 per cent of knowledge and 30 per cent of work.

He described the industry as a sustainable one where most Fijians failed because they lacked the knowledge to manage their farms.

“Therefore, people need to get trained and we are providing training for those interested,” he said.

“People can directly contact us on mobile phone number 9453298.”

Mr Mckay said Fiji was about two third sufficient in the industry which meant that farmers failed to supply one third of the local market demand.

“There is vast potential in the industry but they need training to be successful,” he said.

“Since TC Winston, the industry has been picking up production rapidly.”

In a statement, the Fiji Bee Keepers Association said before TC Winston, the local honey sector was estimated to be worth $3.5 million and it was predicted to become one of Fiji’s big earners in the agriculture sector in years to come.

The statement said TC Winston was a major setback to the development of the Fijian honey sector.

A survey carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture found that the majority of Fijian bee farms lost some of their hives during the cyclone, causing a sharp drop in honey production in 2016.

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