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Sustainable beekeeping for resilient livelihoods

Making a difference worldwide

Apiculture for income and rural employment

Apiculture scaling-up programme for income and rural employment [ASPIRE]

This nation-wide programme started in 2013. In Amhara, Bees for Development Ethiopia was selected as an implementing partner. 

The objectives of the project are three-fold:

  • Provide training to beekeepers, with a focus on honey harvesting methods to ensure quality (separating ripe honey from combs with unripe honey and pollen, use of clean containers).
  • Hold awareness-raising events with honey traders, informing and educating about the demands of changing honey and beeswax markets in Ethiopia
  • Provision of basic harvesting, processing and storage equipment to beekeepers and honey traders

Eneyew Abie uses honey income to buy iron sheets for his house, and to support his young family

Eneyew, from Mehal Mender, is 29 years old with a young family. Eneyew was dependant on his parents until he got married. Then he set up his own household, but had no land to take up farming as a source of farming - and could see no way out of a life of poverty. He was selected as a participant in the ASPIRE project. At first he was pessimistic that beekeeping could change his life. That pessimism has now been replaced with optimism.

Eneyew attended the full training programme delivered by Bees for Development Ethiopia. He learned how to make bee hives, take care of bees, establish and manage an apiary, and harvest honey.

During this production period Eneyew produced 50kg of good quality honey and took 45kg to market after consuming some at home. He earned ETB 4800. As Eneyew explained,

"I used the money to purchase corrugated iron sheets for my house. also nails. It also helped me pay for someone to herd my cows. The income I get from beekeeping is very promising. Compared to crop production, the effort and time required to do beekeeping is less. I am now planning to increase by apiary by five hives".  

The Project Coordinator, Getsh Kassa, explains further,

"The key to success with beekeeping is the consecutive trainings that we provide. Beekeeping cannot be learned in two-days. It is important to understand the whole beekeeping cycle and learn the different activities required at different times of year. Beekeeping can contribute greatly to supporting people's lives. In the case of Eneyew his annual income increased by 56% as a result of selling honey".





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