High up the Miombo trees in the remote forests of northwestern Zambia, bees are producing some of the world’s best organic honey. And now, its unique properties can be sampled in the UK
Zambian honey, which comes from the pollen of Miombo trees, has long been treasured locally for its medicinal properties. Today, it is also cherished as a powerful engine for local development.
“You can see a lot of passion from our leaders all the way down to individual households about honey – it is Zambia’s gold,” explains Albert Halwampa, exports development director at the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA).
In 2014, the ZDA partnered with Finland to invest $2 million in the sector. That funding was used to develop capacity and help companies comply with international standards. As a result, several businesses qualified for HACCP certification in 2016, meaning they were able to start exporting honey to markets all over the world.
Critical to the enthusiasm surrounding honey are its financial returns for local populations. “Honey is a low-hanging fruit in terms of reducing poverty. If we increase investment in the honey subsector, we can improve the lives of many,” says Mr Halwampa.