How Rwanda honey gets Europe, Asia trusts

Sunday Trust - - AGRIC BUSINESS - By Vin­cent A. Yusuf

Shema Aimable is an of­fi­cial of the Rwanda Na­tional Agri­cul­tural Ex­port De­vel­op­ment Board (NAEB) in charge of Live­stock Prod­ucts for Ex­port. He led the coun­try’s del­e­ga­tion rep­re­sent­ing mem­bers of the Rwanda Api­cul­ture Multi-Stake­hold­ers Plat­form (RAMP) to the just con­cluded sixth ApiExpo Africa, Abuja to show­case and demon­strate how the hon­ey­bee in­dus­try in Rwanda fares. In this ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with Daily Trust on Sun­day dur­ing the event, he shared the county’s api­cul­ture jour­ney.

How would you Rwanda’s pres­ence ApiExpo?

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I am here with three honey pro­cess­ing busi­ness com­pa­nies from Rwanda: Api­ary, ABDC and Voice of Call­ing. As gov­ern­ment, we also sup­ported them to come here to show oth­ers what we are do­ing and also see what oth­ers are do­ing so that we can learn more.

How is Rwanda honey do­ing in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket?

Bee­keep­ing in Rwanda, for many years back, was done in tra­di­tional ways. But you know that in 1994 we had geno­cide, but af­ter that, the gov­ern­ment tried to make poli­cies to boost most of the sec­tors, es­pe­cially agri­cul­ture. In that re­gard, Rwanda has put in place a bee­keep­ing pol­icy, and more re­cently, bee­keep­ing stan­dards.

The three Rwan­dan com­pa­nies here are cer­ti­fied to sell honey to Europe and Asia. What we did was to try and put all pro­duc­ers in the same plat­form, the Rwanda Multi-Stake­holder Api­cul­ture Plat­form.

Be­fore now, farm­ers were scat­tered and we thought it wise that in or­der to help them have a stronger voice, co­or­di­nated ac­tiv­i­ties and mon­i­tory for stan­dards, we de­cided to put them on the same plat­form. Through that plat­form they can get ad­vo­cacy and in­for­ma­tion. And they can eas­ily get sup­port from gov­ern­ment in terms of train­ing, tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance, grants or fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance. That was how we were able to or­gan­ise and su­per­vise the value chain ac­tiv­i­ties.

Rwanda hosted one edi­tion of the event; how would you de­scribe the im­pact of host­ing the event to the coun­try’s api­cul­ture in­dus­try?

To host ApiExpo is just bid­ding. We bided in Harare, Zim­babwe and suc­ceeded.

In 2016, we hosted it and saw its positive ef­fect. Af­ter the event, more com­pa­nies in­vested in the in­dus­try.

In fact, at the mo­ment we have al­most 10 com­pa­nies cer­ti­fied to ex­port honey to Europe and other parts of the world. I hope you know that Rwanda is among the few coun­tries that are al­lowed to ex­port honey to Europe? You can’t go there if your honey is not cer­ti­fied. Now, the cer­ti­fied com­pa­nies and the num­ber of clients abroad - Europe and Asia - are also in­creas­ing.

Mr Shema Aimable

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