Bulolo MP Sam Basil said about 200 beehives, which is 50 hives per LLG (Local Level Government), will be supplied for training under the extension program that will cost the district about K230,130.00.
Back in March 2009, Bulolo district’s JDP&BPC trained 40 women farmers with bee hives distributed after training at Baiune Primary School.
“Around October 2009, 30 more hives were brought down from Goroka, with 28 more participants, both males and females, attending a training workshop in the Buang LLG,” Mr Basil said.
He said the participants harvested 144 kg of honey from the March 2009 bee hives using mobile honey extractors.
“The processed honey (in jars) were taken to parliament and presented to the Members of Parliament. A 5kg honey was presented to the then Prime Minister Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare.”
The Bulolo Honey Mamas (BHM) will be given the rights and assistance to continue in checking and assisting existing farmers in terms of care and maintenance of their hives.
Cash payments per kilo will be maintained by BHM to sustain their supply and customer base.
Mr Basil stressed that the potential for honey bee production in Bulolo still remains untapped despite recent investments by his JDP&BPC since 2009.
“There is abundant nectar source available throughout the district and even the province and the country as a whole. Bulolo district can comfortably accommodate up to 1000 bee hives. This will be the JDP&BPC’s aim in targeting at least 1000 bee hives produced for 25-30 tons with a turnover of K350 – K420,000.00.”
The trainings and supplies of equipment are conducted by the Eastern Highlands Provincial Administration’s Division of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries through Tella Loie (email firstname.lastname@example.org .pg; cell phone 72183065).
Interested persons can contact the above supplier. Interested women groups can ask Mr Tella for a quick quote.
Mr Basil said if more districts and/or provinces can invest in honey bee then PNG could put the imported honey products (mainly from Australia) off the supermarket shelves. He said PNG can also export surplus honey overseas and at the same time process other products such as maple syrups and/or use such products in baking and cooking.
The Bulolo training is set to commence in four weeks time.