APICULTURE (BEE-KEEPING) PROMISES BRIGHT FUTURE FOR ZAMBALES AETAS

MANILA,
June 9, 2004  (STAR) A government program on apiculture (beekeeping) promises to usher in a better life for Aetas in Zambales and Bataan.

Titled "S&T Intervention for the Poor, Vulnerable, and Disabled", the program is an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

For a start, the program funded a study on commercial bee culture for Aetas in Zambales. Conducted by Dr. Lourdes Cruz of the Center for Biomolecular Science Foundation, Inc. (CBMSF) of the UP Diliman-Marine Science Institute (UPD-MSI), the PCARRD-coordinated and monitored activity was also implemented at Kanawan, Binaritan, Morong, Bataan.

The Aetas were trained on the basics of beekeeping through workshops, lectures, demonstrations, video, and field training.

Moreover, in collaboration with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-Region 3, Aeta Communities have been strengthened and their social well-being was enhanced through team-building exercises.

The project’s ultimate goal is honey production. Market for honey is assured, as competition is lesser because local producers are still few.

Also, demand for honey is increasing. The country imports at present 300 tons of honey every year and needs more.

The project ties up with Tobee’s Apiary to ensure that marketing of produced honey will not be a problem.

"Beekeeping adapted to local communities in Morong will soon be disseminated to other Aeta communities in Bataan. Likewise, a manual on beekeeping is now being prepared for interested individuals," said Dr. Cruz. – Rudy A. Fernandez


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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