Lodwar, 5th August— Honey production in Turkana has received a major boost after the County Government jointly with World Food Programme flagged of 650 bee hives to be distributed to 13 producer groups under the Sustainable Food System Programme (SFSP).

In his remarks, County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun said that the County Government was committed in commercialization of honey production as part of efforts to achieve food security, and poverty reduction in the County while utilizing natural resources sustainably.

Noting of favorable ecosystem in Turkana that would support investment in bee keeping, CEC Aemun stated that the Pastoral Economy department as part of its livelihood diversification strategy, endeavors to establish and train honey producer groups on the bee keeping value chain to  increase household income through production and sell of honey and other products.

He stated that the County Government together with partners would embark on mapping zones to unlock untapped bee keeping potential in Turkana, to increase its productivity and profitability through modern technique.

County Chief Officer for Fisheries, Livestock Production and Veterinary services Yussuf Abdullahi while acknowledging impressive progress made under the partnership adding that department was planning to develop a bee keeping and marketing strategy for the County that would aid Increase production of quality honey, honey processing and value addition.

CO Yussuf assured WFP of the department commitment to continue working with them to initiate livelihoods programs that are intended to uplift the welfare of residents in Turkana. He said partnership programs have complemented Government programs and ensured that all regions has been covered.

WFP head of Lodwar Field Office Ruth Amatalo lauded strong cooperation of County Government towards success of the project adding that the selection of the bee keeping value chain was informed by the need to provide an alternative source of income. This she said will reduce pressure of dependence on ruminant livestock as a source of livelihood.

The 650 bee hives will be distributed to Namakat, Simailele, Nabeye, Nakabosan, Lokapel, Kanaodon and Kakongu sites in Turkana South while

Kolioro, Urum, Naipa, Lokipetot Arengan and Kang’alita community producer groups  will benefit in Loima sub-county.

Chief Officer Yussuf together with WFP representative visited  Kakwanyang in Turkana Central Sub-County, which has 25 members to witness the handover, setting up of apiaries and distribution of the 50 bee hives to the group.

Others who spoke included Directors Robert Kibunja (Fisheries)and Bobby Ekadon (Livestock Production); Deputy Directors Jane Akale(Veterinary Services), John Eipa(Rangeland management) and Ernest Anzenze (Livestock Marketing).