Allied Timbers Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd Trains Traditional Chiefs in Beekeeping
30 Traditional Chiefs and their selected participants from Manicaland and Bulilima in Matabeleland graduated from the first ever Smart Beekeeping workshop to be held in Zimbabwe. The two-day Smart Beekeeping training was held at Allied Timbers Zimbabwe’s Mtao Forests and Apiary, Mvuma in the Midlands Province. The workshop follows Allied Timbers (Pvt) Ltd re-engagement drive with Chiefs in areas surrounding its Forests in Manicaland through its Corporate Social Responsibility program that will see corporate philanthropy extended through the formation of associations that will engage in beekeeping projects. These associations will benefit from beekeeping projects with the aim of beneficiation through offcuts projects as communities, safeguarding the environment from fires, illegal settlements, alleviating hunger and creating employment through local and export sells.
The Smart beekeeping training involved:
- Basic beekeeping practice from citing of honey bee cycle to
- Making beehives
- Citing apiary and maintenance of apiary
- Honey harvesting and processing
- Candle making, wax creams and
- Basic honey business.
According to ATZ spokesperson, Veronica Gutu, the workshop was a success as it is the first such workshop involving Traditional Chiefs in recognition of their custodial role of the lands that ATZ operates in. She said through CSR, each Traditional Chief received 10 beehive components which they will use with their formed associations to kick-start beekeeping projects in their communities. In addition, each association will continue to benefit from offcuts from ATZ plantations which they will use in making beehives for the beekeeping project.
She added that the company anticipates that this will be a start in creating a lasting solution to problems associated with distraction of forests through fires and honey poaching.
She said ATZ is already engaged in other projects that involve chiefs and communities such as building, renovating and refurbishing of schools especially in Cyclone Idai areas, beekeeping and the use of sawdust as fuel for cooking are already underway.
Ms Jackie Gohwe, Zimbabwe’s representative in apiculture at the African Union who came in as a guest trainer told the chiefs and the participants that Japan wants to import 50 thousand metric tonnes of honey and hoped that the participants will make use of the training to be counted amongst the apiculture industry and reap the benefits of beekeeping and honey production.