The icipe beneficial and commercial insects programme focuses on reducing pressure on protected biodiversity ecosystems and their resources, by enabling communities living adjacent to such areas to engage in income earning activities that are sustainable, eco-friendly and synergistic, provide quick economic rewards and improve food security in Africa.
The main focus is the establishment of sericulture and apiculture enterprises. icipe also conducts research to identify and to use honeybees, stingless bees and silkmoth lines with desirable traits. In the case of bees, these characteristics include: honey productivity, pest and disease resistance and pollination services. In silkmoth, the sought after traits are disease resistance, increased cocoon weight and quality silk yarn.
Genome resources of diverse African honeybee and silkmoth races are being established to provide the basis for developing breeding stocks with desirable traits. Molecular markers will be made available for screening and monitoring desirable traits in silkmoths and bee breeding programmes. The Centre is also establishing germplasm repository and breeding stocks for preservation and utilisation of the superior bees and silkmoths lines.
For further information visit Beneficial and Commercial Insects website: http://bees.icipe.org/