KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 -- A total of 717 entrepreneurs are involved in the stingless bee (kelulut) farming and honey production industry nationwide, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Sim Tze Tzin said the Agriculture Department’s records show that 20 of them have been assisted under the Young Agropreneur Programme in the form of inputs such as hives and colony logs for stingless bee farming and honey production involving an allocation of RM300,000.
“From that number, the ministry is looking forward to the suggestion of ??establishing a stingless bee farm and combining the entrepreneurs under one agency because (currently) the effort is done individually and in different locations.
“Despite the constraints, we will explore more productive ways as this type of kelulut honey is available only in four countries, namely Malaysia, Brazil, Indonesia and the Philippines,” he said.
He was replying to a question from Shabudin Yahaya (PH-Tasik Gelugor) who wanted to know about the government's efforts in increasing the export of kelulut honey to overseas markets.
Sim added that in order to increase the production of kelulut honey and attract more youth participation in the industry, the ministry has also provided an allocation for those interested in venturing into the stingless bee farming and honey production.
“For instance, under the Young Agropreneur Programme, participants from the youth group are given assistance with a target of producing a minimum of 25 kilograms per month with a monthly income of RM5,000.
In reply to a supplementary question by Shabudin on whether kelulut honey meets the standards and quality needed to penetrate the international market, Sim explained that the Agriculture Department is in the final stages of developing a document on Malaysian Good Agricultural Practices (My-GAP) for honey bee and stingless bee farming known as myGAP.AM.
“This certification is aimed at recognising farms that adopt good agricultural practices in terms of the honey bee and stingless bee farming,” he added.