Jonathan Kalan

The BoP In Pictures: One Beekeeper, Many Hives in Kenya

This image and post are part of an occasional series of photo essays The BoP Project is making available to NextBillion readers.

Joyce Kavinya Motunga, Kitui district, Kenya, who lives with many of her five children and four grandchildren in a small mud and brick hut in a village on the outskirts of Kitui district, Western Kenya. She’s been beekeeping for more than 10 years and is just one of Honey Care Africa’s 15,000 bee farmers in East Africa, a Kenyan based social enterprise that enables rural farmers to start small, income generating bee farms, which Honey Care Africa uses as its sole supply chain.

A hot, dry, and drought-prone district of Kenya, Kitui is an ideal location for bee farming. Joyce doesn’t need to depend on the rain, purchase yearly inputs, or do much of anything to ensure a steady steam of income. With just a half an hour of effort each week, Joyce’s five bee hives earn hear nearly 10,000 Kenyan Shillings (around $120 USD) per year, nearly all of which goes to her children’s school fees. In 2005, Joyce earned the title “Beekeeper of the Year”, and has since been running small workshops, training sessions, and her own extension network helping other women in her area set up bee farms.

Over the past ten years, Honey Care Africa has been providing apiarists like Joyce, who own little land and generate little income, with opportunities that have the potential to greatly increase their income. Honey Care Africa partners with NGO’s to get its “Business in a Beehive” package to farmers. The organization provides farmers a guaranteed price and market for the honey produced. More remarkably, they have been doing it profitably, and you can find their honey- whether you fancy mint, cinnamon, ginger, or just pure honey- at supermarkets across the region.

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Agriculture, Education
skill development