We’re trying to build up a dedicated management team, and many of them are young people. We’re getting help from a programme run by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which is addressing the attitude of youth towards agriculture, and how they can be motivated to embrace agriculture as a source of employment.
A product in demand
However, many people in this region are only collecting honey in a traditional way, as a hobby. We decided to give farmers guidance, and provide them with the necessary skills because before, they were working without any formal support; no-one was willing to invest in supporting them to improve the quality of their honey.
The product is in demand, both locally and internationally, and has positive medicinal and food properties. We realized that there is strong potential to produce it on a large scale.
We believe that if beekeeping is taken to a level where farmers understand it as a as a business, it’s going to improve their livelihoods; when we started the business in 2015, a kilo of honey sold for around 3,500 Ugandan Shillings. Today it’s about 7,000 Shillings. This has motivated many farmers to go into beekeeping.
Economy, environment and society
Our vision was to be a market leader in the sale of sustainable beehive products in the Great Lakes region, and to sell globally. Our products are now meeting international standards, and are being accepted in foreign markets”.
Now they can afford basic necessities, and they don’t have to worry about going hungry. They can buy goats and other animals, and pay their children’s school fees. Some have even been able to acquire property. Beekeeping is changing their lives.
Overcoming the financial challenges
“I used to work in an office, and people would come to my place of work to sell ‘West Nile honey’, named after the region I come from. I was interested to see that my region was being used as a brand, and discovered that West Nile is one of the top ranked regions in Uganda for the production of honey.
UN News/ Hisae Kawamori