Beekeeping entrepreneursSupported by Jacana
Many people in Chipata and surrounding villages are keeping bees. The majority does not have any basic knowledge about beekeeping. They “hunt” the honey, press the honey at home under not hygienic conditions and try to sell the honey to neighbours, friends or colleagues. Some of the beekeepers approached Jacana for help in expanding their beekeeping business. Jacana asked an expert, Frank Leenen from PUM Netherlands, for help. Frank came to Chipata and did a field research and developed a beekeepers training where he trained 16 beekeepers in:
- Knowledge about the bee colony
- How to protect the bees against enemies
- What are the requirements for a good quality beehive
- How to manage the hives
- How to harvest the honey
After the training 11 beekeepers decided to form a co-operative so that they can join forces.
Eastern Beekeepers Co-operative
The beekeepers decided to form a co-operative so that:
- they can press and bottle the honey in a hygienic way
- they can approach the market as a group
- they can sell the wax as a group
Jacana is willing to guide them in this process. One of the conditions is that the members have a place where they can hygienically press and bottle the honey. Jacana wants to construct a honey processing plant and buy the starting equipment. The guidance will be as long as needed. When the co-operative is functioning well the equipment can be handed over and the co-operative can decide if they want to start their own processing plant or rent the venue from Jacana.
Jacana wants to train in 2020, 100 new beekeepers from Chipata and surrounding villages. One of the criteria is that the beekeepers have already some bee hives and that they are eager to learn. Another criteria is that they bring the honey for pressing to the processing plant. The co-operative keeps the wax and stores it for selling in bulk.
Jacana has the budget to train at least 50 new beekeepers and is still looking for funds for training other 50 beekeepers.