By John Oba
A honey expert and the Business Development and Sale Leader of Sehai Food Limited, Mr Segun Thomas, has lamented the slow development of the honey industry in Nigeria, saying it has lots of potentials in bee keeping business and has not been fully exploited.
This is even as he also stated that honey industry in Nigeria though unstructured and still at its shallow stage, can compete favourably with any foreign industry.
Thomas stated this in an interview with Blueprint on the sideline of the just concluded Agrik Expo organised by Nigerian Agribussiness Group (NABG) conference recently in Abuja.
Thomas said that Nigeria’s honey is 100 per cent natural and pure organic, adding if well packaged, it could compete with any international honey.
According to him, some Nigerians are importing honey from South Africa, China, U.S., which may turn out to be adulterated and can be dangerous for citizen’s health because most of them are collection of sugar syrup.
“Some also collect sugar cane syrup that has been put together; unfortunately it is falling below the standard of Nigeria to determine what good honey should be.
“The Nigerians will see our honey in the shop and be comparing it with foreign ones which are not of the same standard due to Nigerians madness for foreign goods.
“Though, the local honey keepers need to improve on their production to meet the demand and should also improve on their packages,’’ he said.
“I feel that the Federal Government can come in, in terms of funding bee keeping business, providing low or no interest rate for the sector so that we can expand the business.
“Apart from that, the Federal Government can also provide training to build the capacity of the bee keepers.
“Nigeria should not have any business importing honey; we should be producing enough honey in Nigeria to feed ourselves,’’ he added.
He urged Nigerians to always consume pure organic honey produced in the country to enjoy healthy living.
He said that apart from healthy living, honey also helped in preventing all kind of diseases.
He added that consumption of the pure organic honey had different health benefits such as prevention of cancer, heart disease, increase in athletic performance, healing of cough and throat irritation.
He said that honey could also be used to manage sleep disorder (insomnia), heal wound, burn, boost sexual performance, improve and rejuvenate skill cells.
Other uses are reduction of ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorder.