Background

In Africa, beekeeping was a male dominated activity and livelihood capitals such as social, human and financial capital drove farmers to diversify into beekeeping. This left women out of the economy, making them vulnerable; hence increasing domestic violence. However, honey yield was low when considering the number of installed beehives, and this was down to lack of market information, ready markets, sources of equipment, knowledge on routine apiary management practices, beekeeping experience and forage availability. Furthermore inadequate production knowledge and skills, pests and diseases, predominant use of informal marketing channels and poor product quality were found to be the major production and marketing constraints.

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The major knowledge gaps we address are lack of production and marketing knowledge. Furthermore farmers should be sensitised on how to integrate beekeeping in crop production and still obtain optimal production. Development partners should therefore focus on improving beekeeping productivity and marketing if beekeeping is to be used as a tool to reduce poverty at household level.

We, at LIDEFO, believe that in order to improve beekeeping adoption, farmers’ social capital should be empowered and this will improve access to extension services and the quality of services accessed. Farmers’ social capital can be strengthened through empowering women and youth with valuable skills to address the knowledge gaps in diversifying products and marketing of such products creating jobs for said individuals.  

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