CASTRIES – St Lucia says it is implementing a project with funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), that will position the island’s honey in specific overseas markets through the development of a cluster model.
Export Saint Lucia said with the funding from the IDB’s Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF), it is in the process of implementing the Bee City Honey Cluster Project.
Bee City seeks to increase the competitiveness of stakeholders within the sector, build the capacity of local stakeholders in the beekeeping industry and encourage the entrance of new members to drive and expand apiculture.
Consultant Melvin Edwards, has been engaged to develop a three-year strategic plan for the operations of beekeeper groups participating in the Bee City Honey Cluster.
The authorities said that during his consultancy, Edwards will also develop and facilitate training workshops and provide instruction in governance and cooperative management to the beekeeping cluster and industry stakeholders.
“Like other IDB Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility Projects, Bee City will contribute to an improvement in the standard of living and quality of life of participants. The programme is also expected to result in an increase in the production of honey, and the number of beekeepers and apiaries on the island.”
Export Saint Lucia’s chief executive officer, Sunita Daniel, said the Bee City Honey Cluster Project aims to remove any constraints that currently hinder the development of the local honey industry.
“St Lucia’s honey industry is brimming with export potential. As a trade promotion agency, Export Saint Lucia understands first-hand that the entrance of local honey to international, niche markets will result in increased economic prosperity at home.
“The strategic plan being developed will be in tune with the overall plan of the Government for the sector’s development. The work in cooperative governance and management will assist in the proper maintenance of current and future cooperatives and groups,” she said, noting that Edward’s consultancy will take place over a four-month period. (CMC)