Huge potential in bee farming

Sagah (centre) being briefed about the product by a representative of an exhibitor while Chai (left) looks on at the event’s launching ceremony at Pullman hotel, Kuching.

KUCHING: Honey bee and stingless bee farming has the potential for expansion.

This is because Sarawak has the advantage in terms of diversity of natural resources.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the kelulut (stingless bee) industry was estimated to exceed RM60mil and expected to increase every year.

“Therefore, the kelulut industry has great potential to be a source of income and can upgrade the socioeconomy of entrepreneurs. On average, a colony of kelulut can be harvested eight times a year with a yield of 0.5kg each harvest at RM120-RM150 per kg.”

He also noted that in Sarawak, most entrepreneurs involved in honey bee and kelulut farming were from Kuching, Serian, Betong, Sarikei, Sibu, Mukah and Miri with an estimated 30 thousand colonies.

“It is estimated that 90 metric tonnes have been produced a year with sales of RM13mil. Apart from honey, among the by-products produced are kelulut honey soap and face wash.”

He said this in his speech read by Assistant Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Minister Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn at the launching ceremony of the state-level Malaysian Good Agricultural Practice (myGAP) Certification Scheme on Honey Bee and Stingless Bee Breeding – myGAP.AM, held at Pullman Hotel here today.

Elaborating on the matter, Sagah opined that the bee/kelulut products could be exported and marketed to countries such as China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea.

“With the products, we can penetrate the markets in those foreign countries which I believe will become our main consumers. I believe there is potential of a strong demand for bee/kelulut products in those countries.”

At the same time, Uggah also mentioned that the myGAP.AM certification scheme, which was launched in November 2019, aimed to recognise farms that practice good agricultural practices in the field and to ensure the competitiveness of entrepreneurs in the industry for the export market.

To implement this certification scheme and expand the bee and kelulut farming industry and market, the Department of Agriculture (DOA) Sarawak will provide expansion services such as technical advisory services, training and seminars as well as technology transfer for entrepreneurs in Sarawak as well as carry out other promotional activities.

There are about 296 entrepreneurs in the state involving in bee/kelulut farming. At present, there are 10 kelulut entrepreneurs registered with the myGAP.AM certification scheme.

The same event saw Sagah presenting myOrganic 2018 and myGAP 2019-2020 certificates to 29 recipients from across the state.

He also presented Excellent Farmer Awards to Borneo Gold Pine Sdn Bhd (myGAP Good Agriculture Practice Award), Borneo Highlands Hornbill Golf & Jungle Club Bhd (myOrganic Good Agriculture Practice Award), Poh Lian Plantation Sdn Bhd (myGAP Excellent Farm Award), RH Bee Farms Sdn Bhd (Highest  Kelulut Honey Producer Award) and Pertubuhan Peladang Kawasan (PPK) Sri Gading ( Kelulut Honey Supplier Special Award).

Among those present were the the ministry’s permanent secretary representative David Branch Ambor, Department of Agriculture Sarawak director Dr Alvin Chai Lian Kuet, as well as deputy directors Ngab Dollah Salam (development) and Gavin Aloysius Dom (operations).