There’s a new buzz in Guyana, which could help the government attain its development goals, and may boost entrepreneurship.
Known in the agricultural sector for its sugar and rice, the Government of Guyana, with support from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), is aiming to add honey to the list, and in the process, provide a sustainable pathway out of poverty for Guyanese.
Having wrapped up five days of training at the end of 2017, 25 new beekeepers have charged into the New Year eager about their prospects-some of them youth, launching businesses for the first time, some women, excited about the financial independence the industry can bring.
But why honey? Guyana’s apicultural industry is currently producing 11,300 gallons of the golden nectar annually, and by-products such as bees’ wax, pollen and royal jelly also contribute to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Demand is, however, greater than supply and Guyana imports over 4,000 gallons from markets such as Jamaica and the United States each year to make up the shortfall.
Imported honey is expensive, retailing at almost USD1.00 more than locally produced bottles. The solution, say officials, is to train more beekeepers.
“After eight years of growth, commodity prices collapsed for our major exports. But agriculture and natural resources remain significant sources of economic activity, and we are seeking alternative exports, honey being one, that not only grow GDP, but also adhere to our country’s Low Carbon Development Strategy, which promotes the vision of producing economic development while addressing climate change,” said Eusi Evelyn, Caribbean Technological Consultancy Services (CTCS) Network Project Liaison Officer, GCCI, Guyana.
Find out more in this CDB press release.
[Image credit: Caribbean Development Bank]