Ministry to help honey bee farm operators
BINTULU: The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry will help honey bee farm operators strengthen and promote the industry, said deputy minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong yesterday.
He said as a relatively new industry it needed special assistance and guidance, especially from his ministry, to ensure the honey produced was of high quality and meet customers’ expectations.
“From my observations, the honey bee farming industry has the potential to be developed. However, basic knowledge on its operational needs must be further improved, especially among workers, to ensure high quality production,” he told reporters covering his working visit to Summer Pasific Sdn Bhd honey bee farm owned by the KTS Group of Companies at Samarakan near here yesterday.
Chua said honey bee farming started in the state in 2006, but it had shown an impressive record in terms of productivity.
At the moment, what his ministry could do was to help address the main problems faced by the operations, especially in the handling aspects, and in terms of local and overseas promotions.
Thus, he urged all the operators to submit their problems to the ministry so that follow up actions could be done to assist them.
“It should be noted that in honey bee farming, knowledge management and handling expertise is very important because it will help in reducing the maintenance cost while reaping maximum profits.”
Chua said he was impressed with Summer Pasific’s courage in venturing into honey bee farming industry which had thus far yielded 800 tonnes of honey bee annually.
Describing Summer Pasific as a pioneer in the industry in the state, he hoped the company would always refer to the ministry and other related agencies, such as the Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority (Fama) and Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi), to enable everyone to extend their assistance.
The general manager (project coordinator) of KTS Resources, Desmond Cheng Hua Tang, said the honey bee farming enterprise operated from a 125,000-hectares site and had experienced remarkable harvests thus far.
“Bigger production is expected in the near future with the construction of more honey bee houses.”
Cheng added that the honey produced from Summer Pasific farm were of superior quality but sold at a relatively cheap price.
“This is one of our social responsibilities to the community, especially in Bintulu, where they can get honey at affordable prices.”
He said their products were also exported to Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States.
Special officer to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Freya Lim Khai Shin, and Summer Pasific manager Yong Chong Pui were among those present.