The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) on Wednesday urged manufacturers to leverage bee extracts – propolis, royal jelly and bee venom – to enhance food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics productions. RMRDC’s Director-General, Prof. Ibrahim Hussaini Doko, gave this advice at the council’s sensitisation workshop in Lagos. Doko, represented by Dr Anthony Negedu, Director, Agriculture and Agro-Allied Department, RMRDC, said urgent efforts were needed to harness the health benefits of bee extracts in Nigeria. He said the applications of bee products in both traditional and modern medicine had proven to be highly efficient in its contribution to excellent health and reduction of chronic diseases.He noted that propolis was known for its numerous applications in treating various diseases due to its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti bacterial, antifungal, anti-cellular, and anti-cancer properties. Doko added that the utilisation of these extracts would improve the lot of the manufacturing sector and also help save finances on importation and the country’s crucial foreign exchange, thereby bettering the Nigerian economy. He said the federal government was committed to the success of the project for the purpose of regulation and certification, including financing where necessary.
“Royal jelly is widely used to help combat various chronic health conditions and many pharmacological activities such as antibacterial anti-tumor, anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory effect have also been attributed to it. The RMRDC is the leading agency for bee hive products sensitisation nationwide and the knowledge to be offloaded to the relevant sectorial stakeholders for products development. In view of the potency of the extracts against fungi, bacterial and virus diseases and honey acceptability in pharmaceuticals products formulations, this conference will be accepted as cure for COVID-19 is on the front burner globally. The council is sensitising the pharmaceuticals, cosmetic and food sub-sectors of MAN on the importance and the huge potential of investing and utilising these products. This import substitution will save the country a lot of finance, create jobs and serve as an avenue for national economy development,” he said.
Also, Dr Sunday Onjewu, Director, Entrepreneurship Centre, Redeemers’ College of Technology and Management, emphasised that bee keeping had gone beyond honey production to disease curing. “We are looking at the local content that we have to fight these diseases of which bee keeping has a very critical role to play due to the absence of side effects as a natural product. We have the plantation, the forests, the tree and bee hives; all we need to do is harness the potential available to us,” he said. Responding, Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Director-General, MAN, said manufacturers had for long been handicapped by imported materials for production. He urged manufacturers to partner the council to break the barrier, by diving into the potential of bee keeping for enhanced manufacturing production.