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Value Chain Analysis of Honey Production in Fiji
This value chain analysis for honey production in Fiji will assist in the formulation of plans for developing a more economically robust honey industry. The development of this report occurred as part of ACIAR funded projects AGB/ 2014/057 (Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development Initiative Phase 2 – PARDI 2) and SRA LS/2017/100 (Novel Approaches for Increasing Participation in Honeybee Industries in the Pacific).
It was developed jointly through consultation with key informants, and an analysis of the legal, regulatory and policy environment in which the industry sits.
The primary objective of PARDI 2 is to improve the incomes of economically disadvantaged, rural families and individuals engaged in a range of agricultural and marine based activities through improved productivity and commercialization.
While the SRA (LS/2017/100) research sought to identify how beekeeping could assist in achieving these aims. This assessment of the honey value chain is to identify constraints that need to be addressed and also opportunities for value adding within the industry.
Dr David Lloyd
Each activity involved in the production process of a commodity, right through to final consumption, influences the value of a product. Value chain analysis (VCA) is a way to visually analyse this flow and assists in identifying the various actors in the value chain at each stage in production, their roles and functions, and the vertical and horizontal linkages within the production process.
The use of VCA is beneficial for analytical and policy purposes as it provides an understanding of the dynamics of the industry and
identifies its key strengths and constraints.
The following report is a VCA of the honey industry in Fiji.
Fiji has a favourable environment for honey production in the drier and intermediate rainfall regions of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, with considerable native forest and mixed land-use areas as yet untapped.
Honey is a high value commodity and there is currently a greater demand for honey than supply, enabling greater profits for actors along the value chain.
The key players in the value chain are: beekeepers; input suppliers; bulking and processing agents (who bulk, process, package, and market the honey); distributors; Government Ministries and Departments; non-government organisations (NGOs); and, financial institutions.
The main constraints for beekeepers include: pest and disease (American Foul Brood, Varroa mite, cane toads, insects and ants); limited technical skills and knowledge; limited access to quality training programs; limited access to beekeeping equipment (bee suits, bee hives and other accessories); and, poor quality queens (age and genetics).
For community beekeeping development programs, assistance is needed in: training and extension on bee management and business development; understanding of cooperative models and group work dynamics; and, how to optimise uptake and success of beekeeping programs under differing social and economic structures.
Challenges being faced by small-scale processors include: inconsistent or low supply of honey; limited coordination between producers; and, limited access to proper storage, processing and packaging equipment.
This makes it inherently difficult for processors to supply consistent, high quality products and obtain safe food handling standards that are required to access international markets.
Provision of extension services varies between districts, with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and NGOs being the main extension service providers. However, this has been haphazard and inefficient (observed during data collection phase of this project).
Improving the capacity of the MoA and NGO’s to provide quality extension services is of high importance to improve the productivity and profitability of the industry.
In conclusion, the following report identifies the key actors and functions within the Fijian honey industry’s value chain, highlights their strengths and constraints, and identifies opportunities to improve the industry’s productivity and profitability.
Dr David Lloyd & Jordanna Hinton, Southern Cross University – For the Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development Initiative Phase 2 – PARDI 2 Project (ACIAR).