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Beekeeping causes a buzz in Ethiopia

02 August 2017

Beekeeping causes a buzz in Ethiopia

For Mulugeta Gebreyohanes of Tigray, northern Ethiopia, the future is golden, sweet and profitable. After he was selected as a beneficiary by the charity Farm Africa in 2013, Mulugeta received two modern beehives and bee colonies that have enabled him to dramatically increase his income, and provide for his family.

The future hasn’t always looked so bright for Mulugeta and his family. Land in Tigray is scarce, and his parents’ piece of land was too small for the entire family to survive from.

“My wife and I chose to engage in the bee project for many reasons. One of the reasons was that the locality is suitable for beekeeping. Secondly, I had an interest in beekeeping from a young age. I have also seen for myself how profitable beekeeping using modern beehives could be. When Farm Africa first provided me with two modern beehives and two bee colonies I thought it was a godsend.”

Farm Africa promoted the use of modern beehives by supplying 540 Tigrayan farmers with a beekeeping kit (two hives, two bee colonies and 4kg of wax plus accessories) alongside training in how to effectively use their new equipment.

“I used one of the modern beehives for breeding bees and the other one for honey production. Farm Africa’s Community Facilitators visited me frequently and gave me technical advice in my beekeeping work. They also organised experience sharing visits for us beekeepers so that we learn from each other as well”, reminisces Mulugeta.

By applying the knowledge Farm Africa equipped him with, Mulugeta has worked hard to quadruple his number of hives, providing him with a steady and reliable income that has allowed him to purchase a cow.

Mulugeta feels his beekeeping accomplishments have made a real buzz in Tigray, “I believe I have set a good example in my community” says Mulugeta proudly. “About 50 households in my locality are now engaged in beekeeping following my example, though they are not as lucky as I am to receive support from Farm Africa”.

The sweet taste of success has left Mulugeta hungry to expand his beekeeping business. “My plan for the future is to expand my business and get more profit. This is just the beginning and it’s possible to keep 30 or more beehives in the future. I also aspire to offer training to other less lucky farmers who have shown great interest in beekeeping.”

Farm Africa works across eastern Africa, helping rural communities to grow more, sell more and sell for more, while protecting the environment for generations to come.