Value Chain Analysis (VCA) of the Honey Sub-sector in Uganda
Honey production in Uganda, which is largely organic, is still very low compared to domestic demand with more consumers substituting sugar for honey in their diets due to perceived medicinal value. As a result, supply response in Uganda is not meeting the rapidly expanding domestic and regional demand. Honey is largely traded informally across borders in the EAC.
The main honey producing areas in Uganda are: the West Nile region in Northern Uganda and the Western Uganda (Kabarole, Kisoro, Mbarara, Ntungamo, Kabale, Bushenyi and Rukungiri districts). Northern Uganda, which produces the highest volumes, records about 640 MT per annum while the central region records the least volume of about 85 MT. Yumbe, Nakapiripirit, Pader, Moroto, Amuru, Oyam, Nyadri, Nebbi, Apac and Lira districts are the leading producers of honey in Uganda.
There is a lot of informal cross border trade between Uganda and its neighbouring countries (Rwanda, DRC, Kenya, and South Sudan). This market is growing fast and has less stringent requirements compared to Europe. The wholesalers, most of whom are also transporters, play a vital role in cross border trade. The majority of beekeepers in Uganda are small scale producers mainly using traditional hives and indigenous management practices to maintain their bee colonies. It is estimated that there are about 2 million hives in Uganda 87% of which are traditional log hive with about 66% of them getting colonized per season. Although the traditional bee hives had the least reported and potential productivity, they were the most commonly used and owned types of hives by the majority of the bee keepers. This was attributed to their lower cost, availability of construction materials locally and ease of construction.
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