NIUE’S HONEY INDUSTRY MAY BE REVIVED

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ALOFI, Niue (June 11, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)---Niue’s ailing honey industry is being studied to determine if it can be revived.

The industry, which started in 1967 as a partnership between a New Zealand beekeeper and the now defunct Niue Development Board, once produced up to 75 tons of honey a year from 1,250 hives, The Niue Economic Review reports.

When the industry became private in 1991, production began to drop and now has reached an all time low.

The hives and the honey processing plant are deteriorating and require substantial improvements before the business again can become viable. Experts say around $NZ 50,000 ($ US 26,000) are needed to effectively operate 600 hives, or $ NZ 100,000 ($ US 52,000) for 1,200 hives.

The government is considering inviting New Zealand beekeepers to invest in a joint business venture, which potentially can raise significant export earnings.

At present, the existing honey company is managed privately under the supervision of the Niue Development Bank.

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