The Zambian government has issued honey export licenses to five local companies who met the international threshold. The move opens doors for local honey producers to penetrate European Union (EU) markets such as Finland and the United Kingdom, as well as South Africa and Botswana on the African continent.
“There are no restrictions on where to sell honey. The licensed producers are free to sell anywhere in the world. This is a great advantage they must take,” said ministry of commerce, trade and industry permanent secretary Kayula Siame.
Zambia has an estimated 30 000 smallholder beekeepers, concentrated mainly in North Western, Western, Central and Copperbelt provinces. The country’s annual production of honey is 2 000 tons, and access to these lucrative markets is expected to propel production to 10 000 tons.
Siame said allowing Zambian honey producers to enter these markets demonstrated the huge strides Zambia has made in improving the honey production sector.
The EU, the largest global consumer of honey, has strict food and safety regulations. Accounting for more than 20% of the total global consumption, the EU also gives opportunities for developing countries like Zambia.
Siame urged local honey producers to add value to products to create jobs and boost earnings.
Finnish ambassador to Zambia Timo Olkkonen said Zambian honey is widely accepted globally because of its natural sweetness.