Lilian Chukwuma, a beekeeper, on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to invest in the development of indigenous technologies and provide an enabling environment for small-scale businesses to survive.
Chukwuma, who made the call in an interview with journalists in Abuja, said that many Nigerians were hardworking and ready to engage in productive ventures.
She, however, noted that the unfavourable business environment in the country had somewhat made it difficult for the entrepreneurs to succeed.
She said that investment in indigenous beekeeping technologies, for instance, would encourage young citizens to engage in beekeeping ventures.
Chukwuma, nonetheless, noted that some men and women were currently involved in beekeeping across the country.
“For a woman to go to a beehive to collect honey, it takes a lot of guts because bee sting is very painful, much less of being attacked by a swarm of bees, as such attacks could lead to death.
“You see beekeepers like me going into the bush to go and struggle with nature to make ends meet for our families because that is what we derive joy in doing.
“If the government can make available the infrastructure, small beekeeping businesses like mine would thrive; this is because in advanced countries, the entire infrastructure for the growth of such businesses are on ground,’’ she said.
According to her, honeybees can live in hollow trees, wall voids in buildings and attics, among other protected places.
Chukwuma noted that several kinds of beehives had been designed to manage the accumulation of honeybees.
The beekeeper said that since modern beekeeping facilities were too expensive to buy or even come by, she was compelled to depend on the use of old-fashioned beehives, which were simple devices.
“The beehives include plain boxes, short sections of hollow logs, called gums, or straw baskets known as skeps.
“ These hive types are not very effective; the honey yield is not as much as what one would desire but we just have to cope with what is available,’’ she said.
Chukwuma, therefore, called on the government to provide the requisite infrastructure and small grants for small-scale businesses so as to provide employment for the citizens and boost the economy. (