The AU-IBAR in collaboration with the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), and with the support of the European Union (EU) is implementing a project titled African Reference Laboratory (with satellite stations) for the Management of pollinator bee diseases and pest for food security that aims to enhance the contribution of bees and other pollinators to food security and improved livelihoods in Africa. With the objective to improve bee products and pollination services through reduced incidence of bee diseases and pests, enhanced markets access and bee health institutional environment.
As part of the deliverables of this project, an African Apiculture Platform was officially launched in Kampala, Uganda in December 2014 with the objective of improving the performance of the apiculture sector in Africa. Following this launch, member countries were mandated to also launch their respective National Apiculture Platforms.
On the 8th and 9th of September, the Ministry with the support of the AU-IBAR launched the Nigeria Apiculture Platform. As part of the launch, a 3day training workshop on honeybee production, bee health and pollination services for selected honeybee farmers and relevant stakeholders across the country in the honeybee sub-sector was organised.
2.0 Opening Session:
The launch was declared opened by Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Hon. Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development. In his address; the Minister welcomed all participants to the launch of the NAP and underscored the importance of the National Apiculture Platform which has brought together honeybee farmers, processors, exporters, policy makers, consumers and other relevant stakeholders in the sector to develop the sector and create jobs and employment for women and youths. He noted that the platform would create an avenue for apiculture farmers, processors and exporters to meet and to expand their businesses.
The DG, AU-IBAR who was ably represented by Dr Simplice Noula commended the Government of Nigeria for the launch of the NAP and reiterated the importance of a national multi-stakeholder platform not only for mobilizing actors to implement the decisions of African Apiculture Platform (AAP) but as fundamental national mechanism to bring together and coordinate actors and interests along the value chain, and to advocate for greater recognition and increased public and private investment.
Also represented at the launch were the Honourable Ministers of Trade, Industry and Investment, Environment, DGs of Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Raw Materials & Research Development Council. Goodwill messages were delivered by the invited guests.
3.0 Business Session:
The Business Session commenced with unveiling of the Grand Patron for the Nigeria Apiculture Platform. The Honourable Minister of Agriculture was officially decorated as the grand patron of the platform. Thereafter, the Hon Minister officially launched the National Apiculture Platform (NAP)as well as inaugurated the Inter-Ministerial Technical Committee on Honeybee Production, Bee health and Pollination Services set up by the Ministry to develop a policy framework for honeybee development for the country.
The honourable Minister was then taken round the exhibition stands of various Honeybee Companies. He was quite impressed with what he saw and promised that the Apiculture sector will be supported by the Federal Government with the necessary materials, equipment, laboratories andtrainings required to boost the activities of the sector.
Finally, he appreciated the efforts of the Organizers for putting together the NAP launch which he said was timely and specially thanked AU-IBAR for the support towards the success of the NAP launch.
3.1 Governance of NAP& the Executive Council (EC):
The representative of DG, AU-IBAR, DrNorberMbahin made a presentation on the governance structure of NAP. Following which the under listed were nominated from the colleges that made up the platform (Public Sector, Beekeepers Associations, Academia, Private Sector, NGOs and CSOs) to serve on the Executive Council of NAP for a period of one year.
- Chairman – Mr Ademola Adeshina
- Deputy Chairman – Dr Leo Nyam
- Secretary – Mr Onjewu Sunday
- Treasurer – Dr Mariam Onabe
- Asst. Sec – Dr Oyerinde
- PRO. – Mr David Musa
- Financial Sec – Mrs Obianujo O.
The nomination of the Executive Council members was followed by the nomination of 6 Zonal Focal Points from the 6 geo-political zones.
- Mr Awwal Tukur – North East
- Mr Seun Johnson – North Central
- Mr Kingsley Nwogu- South East
- Mr Dagogo Brown – South South
- Mr Owolabi Ismail Bashir – South West
- Comrade Salisu Adamu Giginyu – North West
The following Technical working groups were also constituted
- Extension & advocacy- Alhaji Idris (Team Lead)
- Production- Mr John Ugwuoke (Team Lead)
- Bee health- Dr Jwander (Team Lead)
- Marketing & value addition- Mrs Adeshina (Team Lead)
- Pollination services- Seun Johnson (Team Lead)
- Legislation/policy – Dr Samuel Anzaku (Team Lead)
- Monitoring & evaluation. Mr Wale Obembe (Team Lead)
The newly elected EC came up with an Action plan to drive the process/activities of the platform which was reviewed and adopted by the general house.
The Launch ended with a vote of thanks by Mr Akor of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development who thanked all participants for fruitful deliberations and wished everyone safe trip to their respective destinations.
Dr Elimi Emmanuel