The Importance Of Beekeeping In Ethiopia

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Beekeeping is an appropriate farming activity that is suited to extensive systems in tropical Africa. Ethiopia is known for its large variation of agro-climatic conditions and biodiversity which includes good survival of diversified honeybee flora and large number of honeybee colonies (Adgaba, 2007). Because of this, Ethiopia is a leading country in Africa and ninth in the world in honey production. Considering beeswax production, it is the first in Africa and third in the world (FAO, 2005).
Ethiopia has potential natural resources to produce 500,000 tons of honey and 50,000 tones of beeswax per annum. Currently, honey and beeswax productions are 53,675.36 tons and 3,000 tones, respectively (CSA, 2011). From the total honey production over
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Tigray region accounts about 4 % of the total honeybee colonies (206,040) and 5.8% of the total honey production of the national beekeeping potential (CSA, 2011). Central zone of Tigray region is potential for beekeeping practices and the yield of honey from improved and traditional types of beehives is high. This is attributed to substantial and continuous public work on natural resource rehabilitation, rich indigenous knowledge, innovation practices of beekeeping, fragmented landholding that is not used for crop cultivation, heterogynous landscape and good vegetation cover (Teweldemedhn, 2011). In central zone of Tigray region, Adwa and Ahferom districts have also diversified types of vegetation and cultivated crops potential for beekeeping activities. In the region beekeeping is considered as essential to improve the livelihood and nutrition of the smallholders. To improve the honey production thousands of improved beehives, as intervention package, have been introduced in the region. Number of honeybee colony increased by 4.2% and the honey production has increased by 13.2% over the period of 1996-2011 (CSA, 2011). As a result increased honey production and productivity has been achieved under the smallholder farmers. Despite the multitude of efforts has been done in promoting beekeeping and increasing production, there still exist a limitation attributable to each value chain node in the whole honey and beeswax value chain analysis. Beekeeping input are expensive and not widely available (MoA and ILRI, 2013). There is poor market linkage between potential producers and consumers as well as poor extension service on beekeeping activities (Assefa, 2009). Generally, there is no adequate and organized study on honey and beeswax value chain analysis. This study may serve for detail understanding of the honey and beeswax value chains and their contribution to value chain actors and helps in improving the

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