Farmer and beekeeper, Maria
Maria is doing all she can to improve the life of her family and her community. Now Maria has her own affordable borehole and pump that provides clean water throughout the year. She shares it with the entire village. Her piggery and poultry business also benefits from the water and pay for maintenance. A great example how a private owned pump serves a community sustainable.
The video below shows the “before” situation.
Expert Frank Leenen
Frank graduated as a tropical agronomist in Deventer, the Netherlands and has gained broad experience in various Latin American and African countries. Frank is proficient at assessing and describing opportunities in the area of rural development based on sustainable agricultural systems. Bee keeping for the production of honey, other hive products and pollination services, is his specific expertise.
We stopped adding monitoring data after October 2018 for Maria Nkhoma but she is still using the skills he learned from Jacana.
On the Saturday 6 October the third beekeepers meeting was held. Mary, Bridget Mulenga, Bandson Tembo and Krispin Daka attended the meeting. Together they talked about their successes, challenges and way forward. A good thing is that they all tried to harvest the honey by themselves. It is not an easy work with the aggressive African bee, but they managed. Some of the challenges:
- They do not have proper working suits.
- Some of them do not have a press to press the honey. It is very time consuming harvesting without a press.
- There was not enough honey for the customers they have at this moment.
- It is difficult for them to make a floral calendar.
The group sees more potential when they start working together. One is a good beekeeper, another one is a good sales person and another can make hives or press machine. Agreed is that Bridget and Dinie from Jacana will prepare next time meeting and discuss what the possibilities are to form a business group. This meeting will be end November or beginning December.
The second meeting with the five beekeepers was held on 23 of June. The beekeepers informed each other about what the status is of their beehives. At this meeting one experienced beekeeper came to instruct how to harvest the honey. Unfortunately there were not enough suits. It was not possible for everybody to harvest. And in Mary’s case she is actually not the one harvesting, but her husband and son.
Maria is one of the five beekeepers in Chipata, Jacana is guiding. Jacana arranged a PUM expert from the Netherlands to train and guide these five entrepreneurs in expanding their beekeeping activities. First of all Frank from the Netherlands visited Maria’s farm to see how she is managing the beehives. Maria had 5 beehives, but unfortunately 2 were stolen. She is trying to make a local beehive to replace the two.
After the visit Frank trained the five beekeepers in the basics of beekeeping: know your farm animal (bee colony), protect yourself against the bees (bee suit and smoker), plan your activities. After the training the five beekeepers decided to meet each other every two months to do some assignments Frank gave them.
She is a dedicated volunteer teacher and tries whatever she can to improve the schooling of rural children in het community.
Jacana will support Maria with:
- An affordable partly sponsored borehole and hand pump
- An expert in beekeeping
Jacana will guide Maria for one year in the expansion of her business.
This is part of a bigger project, donated by Aqua for All.