World Demand for Ethiopian honey is growing but production is way behind
Tigrai Online, May 14, 2017
World Demand for Ethiopian white honey from Tigrai is growing but production is way behind
The beehives of Ethiopia, Africa's top honey producer, make about a quarter of the continent's honey, but travelers who come to sample the liquid gold often find there isn't enough to go around.
It is on Tigray's high-altitude mountain slopes that the yellow Adey Abeba flower grows, a key component in making the unique white honey that is one of Ethiopia’s most prized exports.
"If you train farmers to have modern training like I'm doing here, that would transform production," Alem says.
Tesfamariam Assefa, a coordinator at the Tigray regional agriculture bureau, said the government aimed to boost the region's honey exports from 50 percent to 80 percent of output by teaching farmers better beekeeping techniques.
In 2008, the European Union officially gave the green light to imports of Ethiopian honey.
However, nearly a decade later, the country is still only exporting at most 800 tonnes of the 50,000 tonnes it produces annually.
Alem Abraha says he travels regularly to Italy to show off his wares and honey merchants in Tigray say they are noticing more and more interest from buyers from Ethiopia and beyond.
"Tigray's honey has a lot of customers all over Ethiopia," said Haile Gebru, who sells honey from a shopping mall in Tigray's capital of Mekele.