by Bomujuni Allon, Membership Development Officer, TUNADO
The Uganda National Apiculture Development Organisation (TUNADO) organised a successful and innovative national honey week event running under the theme Quality bee products: a means for ready market. The event attracted 95 exhibitors from across the country and 12,000 participants. The main objective of National Honey week 2016 was to advocate for quality bee products to penetrate existing and emerging markets. In particular Honey Week:
• Defined the quality of bee products;
• Demonstrated quality control and assurance mechanisms;
• Verified simple methods for testing quality honey and other bee products;
• Established the role of quality bee products in respect to highend markets;
• Created a business platform for apicultural exhibitors to showcase, network and market their products and services.
This year’s Honey Week was packed with activities ranging from exhibitions to press conferences and media campaigns, business forums, a Bee Quiz and a Bee Lottery. The exhibition showcased Ugandan bee products: 75 brands of honey, beeswax, propolis tincture and ointments, and beekeeping equipment. Prizes were given to Best Processor, Best Provider of Training and Extension, and Best Producer Association, among others.
The business forum attracted many people with presentations from panellists like Dr Kwame Aidoo, the Director of Bees for Development Ghana, on the role of bees as pollinators, and Dr Wolfgang Ritter from Germany who talked about the African way of beekeeping versus industrial beekeeping, in reference to pest and disease control.
Talks were followed by a ‘Q and A’ session on honey certification for both local and international markets by Mr Lutaaya Joseph, Uganda National Bureau of Standards. The Bee Quiz was conducted at Forest Mall, Lugogo. 34 questions were set by the technical committee of National Honey week. This was the first Bee Quiz for National Honey Week, and the purpose was to check how much stakeholders know about the apiculture sector. To participate in the Bee Quiz, each participant paid 10,000 UGX (UK£ 2.30, US$ 3.00) and the winner, Mr Okuga Ezekiel took 10% of the entire fund.
The Bee lottery was also the first of its kind and attracted very many participants: each ticket to enter cost 20,000 UGX (UK£ 4.60, US$ 6.00), and the fortunate winner (Dr Robert Kajobe) received a fully sponsored trip to attend the 5th Api Expo in Kigali Rwanda.