Bee-Farming fights Poverty
25 small-scale farmers will be trained in Beekeeping. Vulnerable Aid Organization (VAO) offers training, a bee-keeping kit to be able to start, and guidance in the first 6 months of being in business. Bee-Farming is a great additional source of income for the farmers because it requires relatively low investments, and it isn’t labour-intensive. What’s more, the farmers will be able to harvest honey twice a year. And it is expected that each farmer can earn GHS 8,000 (or €610) annually by selling the honey.
This is much needed for the 25 participants of the project, who themselves initiated the idea to start Bee-Keeping in interviews with VAO. These small-scale farmers live in extreme poverty (below $0.70 a day), and depend on crops such as cassava and maize that have low market prices. Moreover, these farmers do not have any skills to augment their farming and also diversify their sources of income. And 65% of the population in Nkwanta South is also illiterate.
During the 5-month training project, participants learn the basics of bee-keeping, which covers key aspects such as beehive components, honey production, packaging and honey processing, marketing and pricing, and money management. After the training, VAO will provide the necessary equipment such as bee hives, bee protective suits, bee smokers, and guide the farmers in installing their hives in their farms. And in the following 6 months, VAO will support the new Bee-Farmers with mentoring, and access to markets to sell the produce. Project participants can also access soft loans to grow their businesses, and when repayments are made, the programme can again run for new participants.
VAO foresees a successful project because there is a high demand for honey. And they have the expertise needed for the project, supporting rural communities to diversify income through diverse income-generating projects.
Within one year, at least 90% (i.e. >23) of the small-scale farmers will have a second source of income from Bee-Farming, which increase their income by 300%. With the increased income, they and their family members can cater for their basic needs and lift themselves out of extreme poverty. And have now access to a balanced diet, healthcare, and education for their children.
Moreover, the 18 women in the group become role models, taking on a business that is traditionally seen as something that men do, to show that women can do this too. It’s important for women to have their own income and to be financially independent, as it has proven to reduce the risk of gender-based violence and abuse. In general, earning a sufficient income will make all participants, men and women, self-reliant and more confident.
92 family members will benefit from increased income. In the longer term, it is expected that each Bee-Farmer will employ someone for the work, creating 23 additional jobs, and income for additional farmers and families.
Moreover, the pollination by bees leads to increased crop yields that in turn results in a larger harvest for farmers. And it enhances biodiversity, which is crucial for the environment.
The budget for the following activities is GHS 126,232 (€9.594). The donation will be used for:
- A 5-months (3 times a month) training by experts from Ghana Permaculture Institute. And a come-back training in month 10 on harvesting and processing of the honey ready for market. Including Training Manuals for each participant to serve as a reference document. And it includes the loan scheme to support farmers sustainably, in this project ad beyond. (€2,773)
- Beekeeping tools and equipment. (€5,441))
- Coordination of the project by VAO, and Monitoring and Evaluation. (€900)
- 5% to iMPACT direct for facilitating direct donations to local solutions (which helps to cover costs of the website, promotion and proposal writing, costs of financial services, and the support to NGOs).
- Also, VAO’s staff will be trained in Bee-Keeping, to be able to train participants in it beyond this project.
- Participants will pay for the equipment in instalments once they start generating income from their beekeeping business. The income will be used to train new farmer groups on Bee-Farming in subsequent years without relying on external funding.
- VAO will offer 6 months follow-up and mentoring to the farmers until they can solely take care of their hives.