Hurungwe honey project to curb veld fires

By Nhau Mangirazi

HURUNGWE- Hurungwe’s Miombo honey project is set to be rolled out in every district’s 26 rural wards in a move likely to curb veld fires that has been a cause of concern for environmentalist here.

According to some villagers here, afforestation patterns are likely to boost food security through bee keeping and honey production.

Hurungwe’s Environment Management Agency (EMA) district officer Munyaradzi Gandidzanwa said they are rolling out Miombo honey project based in Mudzimu Ward 8 to all wards as it has made a difference and boosting food security among the drought prone ward.

‘We are working on a program where project proposals with beekeeping as our major focus. The main reasons we are taking bee keeping is to re-tap our environment through afforestation as bees needs trees and flowers. This will help in reducing veld fires that have been a cause of concern of late where Hurungwe used to top provincial veld fire index. We hope it will help in managing our forests for future generations,’ said Gandidzanwa in an interview with Radio Voice of the People correspondent.

Hurungwe is the country second largest and vast district with better rainfall patterns as well as productive land that has seen farmers turning into massive tobacco farming.

This has been an eyesore as it has tracks of land into near deserts as few are using charcoal as part of green energy.

However, Gandidzanwa urged that this is likely to be a thing of the past in the near future.

‘We have had Community Based Organisation Forums where Miombo Honey project has seen a new trend to take make beekeeping a reality in turning Hurungwe as a green belt. This is another way of cash crop replacement that will add value to our environment. We are tapping on Miombo expertise where they will facilitate rural community trainings. The program is set to be rolled out after project submissions deadline on 30 November 2019,’

Miombo project has been producing six tons of honey and with honey processing training they are now selling it to Karoi, resort town of Kariba, Chirundu boarder post, Chinhoyi, Kwekwe among others.

Last week, provincial resident minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka (Hurungwe West MP) challenged Zimbabwe Apiculture Trust and other stakeholders to help out all Hurungwe district wards as it will help out in boosting food security and environmental challenges.

Mliswa-Chikoka said, ‘‘The bee keeping project is making better strides to transform communities around Mudzimu and their showcasing at Hurungwe business expo is a testimony to that. However, my main worry is why did you

leave out some wards? We all need to move on the same wave length in maintaining our environment and sustainable development,’

Miombo is derived from local indigenous trees that attract bees within Mudzimu area.

It has a membership of 258 including 196 men and 62 women.

It kicked off in 2015 with training from World Wide Fund that has changed the face of local communities.

Project coordinator Promise Ziome said Mudzimu was targeted since it is one of the worst hit area facing

acute food shortages.

‘Ward 13 has suffered dry spells of late and this bee keeping project has been worth cause to mitigate both

food security and climate change around here. We are happy that the community embraced the Zimbabwe

Apiculture Trust initiative and is making progress around Hurungwe,’ said Ziome.

Miombo also produces wax, perfumes and may soon be producing candles among other value addition from bee keeping.