Beekeeping development using value chain approach in Fogera district: experiences from IPMS project interventions
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Gebey, T., Berhe, K., and Hoekstra, D. 2010. Beekeeping development using value chain approach in Fogera district: experiences from IPMS project interventions. IPMS Case Study. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: ILRI.
Permanent link to cite or share this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/810
Ethiopia is a leading honey producer in Africa and one of the ten largest honey producing countries in the world. Despite the favorable agro-ecology for honey production and the number of bee colonies the country is endowed with, the level of honey production and productivity in the country is still low. The annual average honey production per hive is as low as 6-7kg. One of the prominent factors for this low honey productivity is traditional hive and lack of improved beekeeping management techniques. With the aim of enhancing the level of honey production both in quantity and quality, the Improving Productivity and Market Success (IPMS) project introduced a participatory market oriented value chain development approach in Fogera and with a group of stakeholders worked on improving production, input supply and marketing. The project partners trained beekeepers on colony splitting, hive making and seasonal bee colony management practices. In addition, the project facilitated the establishment of beekeeping input supply shop and advised beehive producers (carpenters) on the proper design of top-bar and frame-type hives. The adoption rate of the improved beekeeping has been improved substantially after the skill development trainings and production of appropriate beehives in the district. The number of improved beehives adopted in the district increased from 200 in 2006 to 882 in 2009, following the 2007 and 2009 beekeeping training through technical and financial support of IPMS project. Through the beekeeping technology transformation, the average annual honey productivity per hive has also increased from 7 to 13 kg by changing the hives from traditional to top-bar hives and frame hives. In addition to what has been achieved in enhancing the level of honey production, the technology transformation also improved honey quality substantially. At present, productivity is at a level which leaves room for improvement. Challenges ahead will concern marketing of honey production as prices do not yet reflect the use of improved beehives. Accordingly, better linkages to appropriate markets, introduction to different markets for liquid honey, establish honeybee products marketing cooperatives still have to be investigated and/or developed. From this intervention we have learned that the introduction of improved beekeeping technology and associated practices coupled with strengthening the involvement of other stakeholders along the value chain will enhance productivities of beekeeping business. Smallholders’ beekeepers household income maximized through honey and beeswax productivity increment per hive and input suppliers improved their income through selling of hives, top-bars, and other accessories as a result of the project intervention.