Image source: Market Development Facility
When we think beekeeping, we think bees, honey and more bees. But obviously, beekeeping extends beyond this – there are the economic, agricultural, and social benefits, if not more. Goroka-based company, New Guinea Fruit (NGF), sees the need for knowledge in this sector, and so will be launching the Guidebook for Beekeepers, come January 31.
The Guidebook is intended as an introduction to the beekeeping sector in Papua New Guinea, providing critical information for beginner beekeepers in order to improve the productivity and profitability of the sector.
The guidebook is authored by Cooper Schouten from Southern Cross University, and the New Guinea Fruit team, and will be available in English and Tok Pisin. It will also feature a farmer’s testimonial and speeches from Shchouten and the project’s stakeholders.
“Information regarding the role bees and beekeeping play in supporting rural livelihoods throughout the tropics is virtually non-existent. Honey bees have the potential to provide improved food security, health, economic, and environmental outcomes while not competing with other resource-intensive farming systems,” Mr Schouten said.
NGF Managing Director, Sally Watson, said publishing the book in two languages will help farmers with basic knowledge and guide them when they encounter issues with their beehives. She hopes the guidebook will encourage more beekeepers in the country.
“For the new beekeeper, the guidebook offers enough information to begin keeping bees. We hope that this guidebook will encourage more people to keep bees which will bring in a new source of income to their families and, in turn, increase honey production in PNG.”
New Guinea Fruit company is specialised in locally produced fruit and honey from with the Eastern Highlands Province. The company is working with the Market Development Facility, under the Papua New Guinea-Australia partnership initiative in growing the capacity of honey beekeepers in order to increase production of Highlands Honey, a product of NGF, and draw more farmers to the industry.