The development of bee-keeping industry in Tabora region from about 1886 to 1986

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University of Dar es Salaam
Whether as brew, nutritious food, medicine or lighting candle, bee products were important in the subsistence economy among the pre-colonial societies of mainland Tanzania. Although its volume remained small and unrecorded, beeswax had been among the exported products from the interior if the country during the long-distance trade in the pre-colonial era. But it were both the German and British colonial governments that commercialized bee products into monetary exchange commodities. A considerable success in commercialization of bee-keeping industry during the colonial period was realized through an increased number of bee-keepers and their respective beehives. But as a result if a highly inadequate capital input and extensional manpower, colonialism failed to modernize the beekeeping industry for increased productivity. Consequently, beekeeping could not develop into an entrepreneurial capitalist institution; it remained a part-time peasants' economic activity. The post-colonial (or independent) government's lack of interest to invest in beekeeping industry has led to a beekeeping developmental friend. The constant plea by the Beekeeping Sector if the Forestry Division could not help to change the government's position to invest the highly needed capital into the revamping of the beekeeping industry. The modernization of the beekeeping industry could enable it become the country's leading source of foreign exchange. But to-date the industry is virtually of a rural and traditional nature with a very low productivity. The post-colonial government's permanent lack of interest in developing the beekeeping industry can partly be explained as its succumbing to internal struggles existing between the Forestry and Beekeeping sectors of the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Tourism. However, in the context of international capitalism, such a situation can be explained as the lack of interest by the bourgeoisie that dominate the neo-colonial economy of Tanzania to invest in a rural based traditional industry that may greatly develop the majority of peasants. The foregoing nature of the beekeeping industry on mainland Tanzania could directly be assessed in a case study of the bee-keeping development in Tabora Region from about 1886 to 1986 with an overlapping to the present. This study contends that, firstly the Tabora Bee-keepers Co-operative Society Limited, is highly incompetent to develop bee-keeping activities in Tabora Region, and consequently it has remained inefficient, a burden and an exploitative tool to the Tabora bee-keepers. Secondly, the Tabora Bee-keeping Training Institute is largely isolated from the surrounding bee-keepers who were ideally supposed to greatly benefit from its presence in the region. And thirdly, the Regional Bee-keeping extension services are highly inadequate and incapable of supervising and accomplishing the development of bee-keeping activities in Tabora Region. And besides, the continued expansion of the Tobacco Industry and the unreliable/variable climatic conditions experienced had considerably affected the bee-keeping development activities in Tabora Region.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF HD9120.T3N4)
Honey trade, Tabora region, Tanzania
Nguvava, E. A (1989) The development of bee-keeping industry in Tabora region from about 1886 to 1986,Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam