MULANJE ( Nellie Kanyemba, Mana) – Honey produced in Malawi has a potential of selling in many countries worldwide, a Japanese company has said.
President for the Office 5-talents Inc. Yukio Mizuno made the proclamation on Tuesday during a hand over ceremony of 50 beehives to Mapanga honey producers, processors and marketers cooperative at Chonde in Mulanje.
The beehives which were donated by Japanese consumers of Malawian honey were given in response to the floods that hit some districts of the country including Mulanje where over 50 honey farmers were hit hard as 500 beehives belonging to Mapanga cooperatives were washed away.
In his speech, Mizuno said after hearing that Malawi had been hit by floods and some of the honey producers were affected buyers in Japan, his organization decided to contribute money towards the replacement of some beehives that the cooperatives lost in the process, in order for the farmers not to lose track and continue to produce honey and sale in Japan.
“These customers decided that their type of response to the cooperatives problem should be re-equipping them with something that would put them back into their productivity status, so that on their own they could continue generating income and provide themselves with all other needs such as maize for food”, said Mizuno.
According to the Japanese businessman, honey produced in Malawi is believed to be a very precious commodity in Japan that honey from any other countries as far as his business is concerned, hence the buyers reached an extent of contributing money to an equivalent of K 500, 000 to buy the beehives so that the supply of honey should not stop.
“It should be noted here that these customers were not asked for the donation but they have done this willingly. They did only so that they could not miss the honey and that is why I am challenging you that Malawian honey has a potential of fetching more markets on the international scene if more effort is put on value addition”, he added.
Commenting on the sentiments, National Coordinator for One Village One Product (OVOP) programme Kamia Sulumba said it was very encouraging to note that the Malawian product was attracting people’s attention outside the country due to its uniqueness, a thing she described as a good start for Mapanga honey producing cooperative.
“As we all know it is the dream of our country’s President to transform Malawi from an all importing nation to an exporting one in order to achieve national development and so producing unique products that steal hearts of buyers is the only thing that will help in the realization of the dream”, said Sulumba.
She further promised that the OVOP secretariat will assist the cooperatives with more education on ways to enhance value addition on its honey so that it can continue impressing international buyers.
In her remarks, chairlady for Mapanga Honey producing Cooperative Lydia Gundo thanked Office 5 Talents Inc. for delivering the beehives while also asking the president of the company to carry a message of gratitude to the customers who have demonstrated to be friends in need.
Mapanga honey producing cooperative had a total of 550 beehives before the floods, but the disaster only left them with 50 dropping their production quantity from 1000 kilograms to 200 kilograms per exportation.