Beekeeping: Means of income generation

Traditional-beehives-maintained-by-rural-households-in-southern-ethiopia
Traditional-beehives-maintained-by-rural-households-in-southern-ethiopia

Beekeping is one of the important economic activities in Kembata region. It employs a number of people and provides an opportunity for impoverished families to supplement their income by marketing their bee products such as honey and beeswax at local markets.

Despite its importance, the quality and quantity of the honey is significantly low. The beekeepers still use traditional beekeeping methods, and unable to modernize their beehives and processing techniques.

In recent years due to the opening of a large EU market for Ethiopian bee products, there are some export opportunities which could be used effectively. Any improvements in honey production and an increase in productivity would help the country to meet the increasing demand for bee products in the European markets, and generate export revenue.

For many small households such as widows, low-income families with very small farmland, providing improved beekeeping equipment, protective clothing, training and extension services for beekeepers would increase the productivity. To improve the quality and quantity as well as bee behavior a transition from using traditional log hives to a system with removable combs is essential. In addition to that, offering credits to start-up beekeeping and to purchase hives on loan to be paid off when the households generate enough honey for the market, would be an excellent strategy.


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