farmers in kisoro have started to fill the challenges after governmnet abolished certain departmets in the restructuring exercise which was conducted countrywide.
Bee keepers in Kisoro want government to restore the entomology office to offer technical advice to bee farmers in the district. In 2003, government launched a restructuring exercise in all local governments across the country.
Under the restructuring exercise the office of the entomology officer was closed and his duties assigned to other staff in the production department. But bee farmers in Kisoro say that the scrapping of the entomology office is affecting their business.
John Owomugisha, a bee keeper in Kisoro says that they used to get technical assistance from the district entomology office and material support but since the office was closed the farmers have been left on their own.
He says the district used to allocate some money to bee farming but it has since been abolished. Owomugisha has over 100 modern Kenyan Top Bar hives in Mgahinga national park and every season he produces one ton of honey.
He says that without assistance from government farmers will soon leave the enterprise.
Alex Kwizera, another bee farmer says that they have also been left out of the National Agricultural Advisory Services-NAADS program. Kwizera says that Kisoro alone used to produce 20 tons of honey every season but production has dropped to 10 tons because of lack of guidance to farmers.
Edgar Banda, Kisoro NAADs coordinator explains why bee farming was not included in the selected NAADs enterprises saying that farmers choose their enterprises.
He says beekeeping came up during the selection of enterprises but only a handful of farmers supported the enterprise. Dan Ngirabakuze, Managing Director Kisoro Honey Producers says the challenges facing farmers and the producers are similar.
Dan Ngirabakuze wants government to take immediate action and restore the entomology officers to guide farmers.
// Cue in:” if gov’t can intervene”…
Cue out: …”even if the bees”//
He explains that bee farming generating a lot of money compared to the other enterprises being supported by the NAADS office. He says that Ugandan honey competes favorably on the international market despite limited advertisement.
Kisoro is one of the districts producing high quality honey because of a conducive environment. It is surrounded by Mgahinga and Bwindi forests.
Farmers in Kisoro signed a memorandum of understanding with Uganda wildlife Authority to allow them carry out bee farming in the protected areas.
re-instate of the entamology