More money from honey by-products

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The Highlands team of SNV Cameroon working with the Western Highlands Conservation Network (WHINCONET) identified the honey sector as a value chain for sustainable development. A marketing analysis in 2005 of the economic potential of NTFPs used by WHINCONET members and their communities showed honey in the top three, along with a medicinal tree - Prunus africana, and eco-tourism. Realising the complete lack of market data in Cameroon, and using a model from SNV Zambia, SNV commissioned a Honey Market Study in 2006 of the status of Highlands honey in Cameroon and abroad, executed by UGIPROMNAD an Ngoundal based union of honey producers with support from VSO and an UK honey importer Tropical Forest Products. Honey collection and processing is an ancient and well-established activity in Cameroonian forest and savannah communities. Producers have focussed on exploiting local markets for honey, rather than developing alternative markets. Bees wax has seen limited development as the quantity of extracted wax produced is far beyond local consumption as a main ingredient in candles, body creams, ointments, lotions, soaps and polishes. It was revealed from the study that bee farmers had stock piles of wax gathering dust in the last five years ago, de-motivating bee farmers whose wax production efforts were not rewarded with additional income. Furthermore, bee farmers were less interested in by-product extraction as they had no knowledge of markets and only limited knowledge of transformation possibilities.

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