How Sweet It Is
Beekeeping in Malawi
Beekeeping symbolizes the biological interdependence between insects, pollination and production of seed. Beekeeping interventions strengthen livelihoods and also ensures maintenance of habitat and biodiversity.
By strengthening livelihoods, CPAR is helping African communities to become less vulnerable to poverty. As part of the Farmers First program, CPAR worked with two Farmer Field Schools from Tsumba and Khaladzombe village in Malawi to provide training on how beekeeping can help to build sustainable livelihoods as well as an alternative source of income.
Fifteen members from each of the Farmer Field schools underwent a five-day training session in beekeeping, harvesting, processing and marketing as well as beehive construction and installation.
By the end of the training session, each group had constructed 20 beehives. CPAR also provided start up equipment for constructing the hives and also provided harvesting suits, bee smokers and honey drip kits for the two groups.
Each hive can yield upwards of 15-20 kg of honey per year, and each kilogram of processed honey can fetch as much as $6.40 CDN in local markets. Having learned a great deal in the practical training sessions, the budding beekeepers are eager to expand their enterprise.
“We have been longing to venture into beekeeping but we lacked the technical know-how and material support to start. Now that CPAR has helped us, we will put all our efforts to see our project grow to greater heights so that we will be able to realize enough income to support our families,” said one Farmer Field School member.
Both Farmer Field School groups are undergoing market assessments to assess opportunities to access external markets with their product. Future plans include training that focuses on value addition topics such as processing, market identification, packaging, and production of secondary products such as beeswax.