The Ondo State Government says it is planning to empower more than 1,000 unemployed youths via the business of beekeeping.
Mr Akin Olotu, the Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on Agriculture, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Akure.
He said: “Beekeeping has a potential to create thousands of jobs, if properly harnessed.
“A graduate can earn about N2 million to N3 million a year from beekeeping, which can equally earn foreign exchange for the country.
“We are looking at making the state a reference point when it comes to the beekeeping business in Nigeria and the world at large.
“To this end, we are empowering 1, 000 beekeepers with a minimum of 10 hives for a start.
“We are starting a pilot apiary on a five-hectare land at Isuada in Owo Local Government Area, with a view to creating a brand that will have global recognition.
“We are looking at a packaging that can penetrate different segments of the economy and one that can be appealing to the hospitality industry as a substitute for sugar.”
Olotu said that the state government had inaugurated an agriculture development committee which would be saddled with the responsibility of revamping the agricultural sector of the state.
He said that the committee was made up of experts in beekeeping, a technical adviser from the Federal University of Technology Akure, government representatives and stakeholders drawn from the entire agricultural value chain.
“The committee is coming up with a brand of honey that can flourish in the international market and at the same time compete effectively in the domestic market,’’ he said.