Training centre introduces beekeeping


THE Kaguvi Training Centre, an agricultural training institution in Gweru, has introduced an apiculture programme as it steps up efforts to enhance the knowledge base of its students.
Apiculture involves the rearing of bees.
The centre’s principal, Piason Ndoro, said the programme would commence in September.
“We will officially introduce the programme to the students next term.
“We hope by the end of the year, the college would have been able to place at least 1 000 beehives on our farm,” said Ndoro.
A Harare Agricultural Show apiculture winner, Cephas Hove,
is assisting the college to implement the programme.
“Hove is offering us technical support and training some of our teachers.”
Ndoro said the centre is in the process of setting up beehives in the apiary.
“We want to ensure that we would have laid down all the groundwork before schools open so that once students come back, we will be ready to offer the lessons,” he said.
“Apiculture is a good and viable project despite being neglected by many. This project will definitely cushion the college financially as soon as the honey becomes available.”
Players in the bee-keeping sub-sector have cited lack of knowledge by farmers and inadequate financial support as the major hindrance to the growth of the sector.
Ndoro said the centre is planning to make the apiculture programme accessible to farmers.
The beekeeping sector has since made an appeal to Government for funding to unlock value from honey production.
AGRITEX has also been urged to decentralise beekeeping activities across the country and to impart latest technology on beekeeping. 
Apart from the economic benefits of beekeeping, the trade also benefits the pharmaceutical industry as honey is a key raw material in the manufacture of cough medicines.
Honey and wax are used for cosmetics such as soaps and hair products.
Beekeeping has not been practised intensively due to lack of skills by locals.
The introduction of apiculture at the training centre comes at a time Government has urged agriculture training centres to broaden their curricula to ensure students have knowledge of the various sub-sectors of the industry.
Early this year, Kaguvi Training Centre introduced rabbitry, a programme that deals with the breeding of rabbits.
“We are aiming to equip our students with all the knowledge in farming and, about four months ago, we engaged in rabbitry which has become a major success since its introduction,” said Ndoro.
“I would like to believe that all these new programmes we are introducing will be successful since we have been getting help from the best in the field.”
Ndoro said the programmes are expected to improve productivity on the farms around the country.
“It is important that after completing their studies, students take advantage of the Land Reform and Command Agriculture programmes by applying for land and funds,” he said.
“With the knowledge acquired, it will not be difficult for them to run successful farms. We are no longer in that era where people sought to be employed after college but aspire to be their own bosses.”
Ndoro said the college was embracing technology to improve its learning standards.
“It is pleasing to note that the college now has internet facility as it is a vital tool in the students’ studies,” he said.
“It is through the internet that the students keep abreast of changing trends in the agriculture sector internationally.”
He said the institution would continue to upgrade and improve its programmes to keep up with the latest developments.
“We are in the process of putting in place structures that will see us opening labs so that students carry out practical lessons on some of the modules they cover,” he said.
“With the internet in place, we are assured that studying for students has been made easier.”
The agricultural institution also offers courses such as animal husbandry which involves the breeding of pigs and cattle, crop husbandry and horticulture.


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