Natural resources sector is comprised of various sub-sectors including forestry, fisheries, bee-keeping and wildlife. The sector is very important in the contribution to social and economic development of the Region.
Natural Resources: The Situation
Mbeya region is well endowed with the renewable and non-renewable natural resources such as forestry, wildlife, honey bees, minerals, etc. In view of that, the region has made major efforts in developing these natural resources.
Mbeya region has about 15,059,400 hectares of land area covered mostly with miombo woodland forests. There are also some plantations of pine trees in various areas including Kawetere in Mbeya District. Forest resources serve a variety of functions including timber, fuel-wood, honey production and environment conservation.
Wildlife resources found in Mbeya region are extensive. They include wild animals such as leopards, lions, cheater, elephants, buffalos, crocodiles, snakes, tortoises, and a variety of birds like ostrich and water ducks.
There are two lakes in Mbeya where fishing activities are carried in deep water. These are Lake Rukwa and Nyasa, all with fresh water. The former is known for its high population of crocodiles and it is major source of fish consumed in the region. Lake Nyasa is known for ornamental fish and delicious “Mbasa” fish.
Miombo woodlands forest mentioned above are characterized of rich millineries species that make suitable sites for nursing bee colonies. Beekeeping activities are carried in the region on commercial basis by small scale entrepreneurs.