By TERENI KENS
HONEY production in the country is seen as a major economic activity within the agriculture sector and should be enhanced and promoted at the rural level.
Recent research has revealed that Papua New Guinea produces an estimated 40 tons annually valued at K400,000.00 which is consumed annually while PNG consumption rate is estimated at 200 tons or K2 million annually which is heavily subsidised by imports mainly from Australia.
Bulolo MP Sam Basil outlined this in a recent honey harvest in his electorate saying this is the way forward for the country's local entrepreneurs and farmers to consider investing in local honey production to gain high returns.
"The honey market can be captured by promoting locally produced honey in the rural areas or districts in PNG," Mr Basil said.
The MP together with Eastern Highlands Provincial Bee Keeping Coordinator, Tella Loie witnessed the first harvest from the bee hives project.
The project is funded under the local Mp's District Service Improvement Project (DSIP) and the hives have matured for harvest in just four months from being established which has exited Mr Loie and his Eastern Highlands team.
Mrs Sally Sonoling the interim president of Bulolo Honey Mamas Association and three of her colleagues, Ms Yonga Heva of Garaina, Waria LLG, Labu Archie of Mumeng LLG and Elsi Willie of Wabu Urban LLG has accompanied Mr Loie and have conducted many harvesting and extraction recently.
The association said one of the farmers Steven Bani of Lagis Village in Buang LLG has brought his 8 frames with contents of approximately 16 kilograms of honey and earned K160.00. This has brought some good news to the bee team that Mr Bani's village has experienced increasing in the productions of coffees beans, avacado, oranges and 'laulau' fruits which is due to the presence of honey bee and its pollinating activities.
Mr Loie has estimated that by Tuesday the team would harvest a total of 300kg or K3000.00 worth which would be invested back into the farmers' hands.
MP Basil will later in March session of parliament plans to present each jar of 250g, 500g and a 2kg respectively to the Prime Minister, Agriculture Minister, Mps and the DAL officials respectively.
He said while presenting the results, will urge the other Mps to invest into honey production as PNG has wasted its flora and fauna, which could be useful for the honey industry that also has some other indirect benefits such as employment, food security, education and income generation.