Climate change experienced in the country has hit hard on honey production sector, affecting output for Nkhata Bay-based honey cooperative, which has dropped by half.
Currently, Kabunduli Honey Cooperative is producing 5 000 kilogrammes (kg) of honey per year down from 13 000 kg in the past.
Recently, Malawi has been experiencing changing rainfall patterns and higher temperatures, leading to droughts in some parts of the country.
The cooperative, which is one of the biggest honey producers in the Northern Region, is feeling the effects of climate change.
The region supplies 60 percent of Malawi’s estimated production of between 75 tonnes and 80 tonnes.
Speaking on Friday, chairperson of Kabundulu Honey Cooperative, Elias Banda, said production of honey in 2015 was the lowest in recent times.
He was speaking on the sidelines of a signing ceremony of a grant amounting to K54.8 million given by United States African Development Fund (USadf) to the cooperative to boost honey production in Nkhata Bay.
Banda, who chairs the 70-member cooperative, said honey production was hit by reduced flowering in both macadamia and natural tree flowers due to climate change.
“We have since started engaging the locals against deforestation and we have up-scaled planting of fruit trees,” he said.
Banda said the cooperative supplies its honey to Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union Limited, Mustard Company and vendors in the country who add value and distribute the product nationwide.
He, however, said the K1 500 per kg selling price of honey is low.
In her remarks, USadf country director Linda Jere said the grant will support the cooperative in infrastructure improvement to enable the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) certify them on standards.
The grant will run to March 31 2018.
“We believe the grant will address the issue of low prices as they will add value and employ a marketing officer who will source markets for them,” he said.
Experts argue that Malawi’s 5 000 small-scale honey producers are failing to meet 200 tonnes local demand of honey.