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Natural Honey Honey and Wax by lzi10112


									Natural Honey: Honey and Wax
Ethiopia is the regional leader in Eastern Africa in bee product business development and
far exceeds other countries in Africa in terms of volumes of honey and beeswax
harvested and traded, and levels of investment in the formal sector. However stakeholders
in Ethiopia know that there is more to be done to develop the sector into a robust
industry. Ethiopia is the World’s 10th biggest honey producer and the 4th largest
beeswax producer after China, Mexico and Turkey. Owing to its varied ecological and
climatic conditions, Ethiopia is home to some of the most diverse flora and fauna in
Africa, making it highly suitable for sustaining a large number of bee colonies. Ethiopia
reportedly has the largest Bee population in Africa with over 10 million bee colonies, out
of which about 7.5 million are confined in hives and the remaining exist in the forest.

Ethiopian Honey Accredited for EU: Ethiopian honey was awarded the EU Third
Country Listing of Animal-Based Products' accreditation as of xxx. Though, the quantity
of Ethiopian honey product ranks first in Africa and tenth in the World, the country has
been unable to sell it on the world market. One of the obstacles was getting the quality
accreditation, which latter on been solved.

Honey Supply and Quality: Ethiopia produces significant quantities of honey with
estimates ranging from 24,600 to 43,000 tones per year. About 95% of honey production
is harvested by means of local methods, and beekeepers use a range of materials to make
hives. The vast majority of all honey harvested goes to make Tej, Ethiopian honey wine,
and it is clear that the demand for this wine is driving the honey industry. The annual
production of wax is estimated to 3200 tones, without considering beeswax wasted in the
remote areas. Beeswax is a valuable hive product obtained from honeybees. It is a by-
product of the honey production. Beeswax is largely collected from traditional hives
rather than the modern hives. The wax yield from traditional hives is 8-10% of the honey
yield, compared to 0.5-2% from modern hives. The bulk of the supply of beeswax is
obtained as residual from “Tej” production, a mild alcoholic beverage popular throughout
In Tigray region in 2001/02, however, an estimated amount of about 635.4 tones of raw
honey was produced. According to the data indicated in the Bureau of Agriculture, major
producing areas are: K/Awlaelo, A/Womberta, Ahferom, Tselemti, Ganta-Afeshum and
Kolla-Tembien Woredas in their order of importance and potential. On the other hand,
the region has put the Woredas of Tselemti, Medebay- Zana, Ahferom, Hintalo- Wajirat
and Enda-Mehoni as potentially the most promising areas for the production of honey in
the region. The Castor study has projected that an amount equivalent to 1818 MT, 2116
MT and 2703 MT would be harvested in 2003/04, 2004/05 and 2005/06 respectively. The
total estimated bee population in Tigray is about 195,541 bee colonies (Board, projected,
2006/07). The Eastern zone is supplying the highest share by the size of bee colonies
(28%) followed by Southern zone (19%), and the rest by North Western, Eastern and
South Eastern zones.

It is believed that Ethiopian honey is of good quality even though in the world market it
is considered to be often dark in colour and strong in flavour. These characteristics are
however taken by many to be not signs of poor quality but as signs that indicate the "need
of a specialized market for this type of honey. “In fact the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA)
study stressed that the existence of the "willingness of celiain markets to pay premium
prices for dark coloured, strong flavoured honey of the type produced in Ethiopia" should
be better exploited (Ibid. MoA, V.III, P.61). Pure Organic Honey is available and
produced through honey processing plc available in the region. The chemical
composition and quality parameter meets the world standard. This company is also in a
position to produce wax having a chemical composition and properties that meet world
standard set for determining the quality of bee wax.

Honey Price: Both raw and extracted honeys have good local and international markets
all the year round. Slight spatial differences in prices, which are attributed to the variation
in quality and distance, are always observed in the local market for honey. Significantly
high prices are observed in Tigray in comparison to the rest of the country. This is
accounted by different customers due to the superior quality and color of the honey
produced in many pans of the region. Average prices for raw honey and extracted pure
honey at Addis Ababa for Sep/Oct.2002 range from Birr 14.67 -20/kg. The retail price of
raw honey in Tigray for the same period ranged from Birr 12.67 at Endabaguna to about
26.33 Birr at Mekelle (Ibid Statistical Bulletin, No. 276). On tile international scene,
prices for honey are observed to have risen from about USD 850/MT in the early 1990s
to about USD 1220 per Mt during 1996 (Ibid, S.M. Gidada). A substantial rise in world
prices is observed ill the past few years. The average prices for 1997-2000 could be
calculated from data of the Export Promotion Agency, as USD 3531.2/MT. The amount
of natural honey exported from Ethiopia is about 406 tones and valued 1,179,000 USD
and the wax export was amounted 415 tones and earned 1,825,000 USD in the year

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