Sponsored: Honey is five times more expensive than oil, and its market is growing not only in Africa but around the globe, as the world commemorates International Bee Day today. One kilo of honey in Kenya costs between $6 and $11 (Ksh500-Ksh1,100), five times the price of a liter of petrol, and a jar of honey in the Arab market will fetch almost twice that amount ($15-$25). It’s a price tag that has honey farmers all over the world salivating.
Kenya has had a honey production deficit since independence, resulting in over 80% of honey processed in Kenya being imported from Tanzania, despite the fact that the country has a lot of potential for beekeeping. In fact, leading honey producers in Africa such as Ethiopia, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe have similar climatic conditions for beekeeping as Kenya.
Honey is in short supply around the world, and while Kenya has the capacity to help alleviate some of it, no progress has been made in this direction.
“Bee-keeping in Kenya has been practiced traditionally for many years. However only 20% of the country’s honey production potential (estimated at 100,000 metric tonnes) has been tapped”, says Kyalo Mutua Maveke the CEO of Savannah Honey
Many Kenyan farmers are yet to commercialize honey production since the field is still seen as a poor man’s preserve. This has been the case despite the fact that the commodity has a large market in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Who is Savannah Honey and Should you Invest?
Savannah Honey is a social enterprise that has been involved in empowering interested beekeepers for the last seven years through ;
- Offering training on modern beekeeping,
- Provision of Langstroth beehives and other beekeeping equipment,
- Management of the apiaries,
- Provision of the bees(Colony Division),
- Technical support,
- Marketing of the honey-We give the clients a 5 years contract
The Langstroth beehive has a multi-layered construction and interchangeable frames to enable bees to create their hives in a systematic manner and make honey harvesting easier for beekeepers. The frames are built to divide honeycombs as bees connect honeycombs to adjacent frames, allowing beekeepers to easily handle their bees and honey collection.
Savannah Honey has employed over 4,000 farmers in East Africa and has recently introduced a new initiative aimed at 7,000 people who do not have the time or land to beekeepers but want to make money from modern beekeeping. This is an ideal scheme for those people who work in the cities but have land in the village that is unused. This also refers to those who want to participate in the scheme but don’t have access to properties or farms. Savannah Honey will lease land for them in order for them to start the business.
Survey – According to Savannah Honey
- Beekeeping provides a chance to earn decent money all year long, resulting in a shift in lifestyle.
- The country’s flora leaks every flowering season with over 80% untapped nectar
- Due to poor beekeeping practice, we lack healthy and good honey hence importing to cover the gap.
- Farmers languishing in poverty due to a lack of proper knowledge skills, modern hives, and other essential tools for beekeeping
- Beekeeping is a unique practice that works 100% well with other farm practices since less time is needed on management and supervision.
- The climatic condition has greatly changed sometimes with less or no rain to support crop farming which in turn is proper with bees.
- Due to lack of bee farmers, bees have migrated to cooler and safer regions like Baobab trees, our home rooftops, ceiling, and chimneys making it always costly on repairs and contributing to poisoning/burning of bees making it almost an extinct move
Observations – According to Savannah Honey
- The Country lies within the best climatic pattern year-round which is excellent for beekeeping.
- Farmers have downed tools from non-profiting crop cultivation in harsh areas and looking for better and affordable ideas.
- Virgin tracts of our lands lie idle flourishing with plenty of mature indigenous trees with class nectar
- Honey yields are low on traditional hives compared to modern Langstroth which also give healthy honey in terms of handling and harvesting
The interested clients will have Savannah Honey manage the apiaries and the whole operation for them after buying the beekeeping equipment, and they will purchase the honey after the harvest.
If this program sounds like something you might be interested in then reach out to Kyalo Maveke below: