We have two projects in Ghana that we are highlighting for World Bee Day sponsorship. One is the Amomaso-Adom Beekeepers.
Amomaso community lies a short journey from Berekum town in the Bono region of Ghana. This is home for Gladys, who lives here in one-roomed house with her three children – a daughter of 22 with a toddler, a 14 year old and a 6 year old.
The house has around an acre of land which Gladys farms. She leaves at 6am and returns at 5pm, farming okra, chilli, garden eggs (a small aubergine) and carrots which she sells at market. Her three children receive no support from their fathers and nor does her grandchild. Her eldest daughter completed Senior High School with family help, yet has no income and is needed to help her mother on the land and in the home. The younger two children are in school supported by their mother who works extremely hard to keep them in school, as she understands how important that is.
It is a precarious existence for this single mother.
All 50 members of Amomaso-Adom Beekeeping Association are farmers like Gladys. Some also farm cocoa with in addition to the small subsistence plots for growing staples. Cocoa farming is seasonal, and women earn extra income from roadside trade in surplus vegetables and tubers.
Nearly half the group has experience of honey hunting, a destructive practice giving poor honey and attracting a low price locally. With sponsorship we can change this, leading to bee colonies with hives to call home, a fair market price for quality honey, and improvement to the environment through encouraging the planting of forage tree saplings. The risk of bush fires and tree destruction resulting from taking wild honey can become a thing of the past.
When Bees Abroad first visited this community at the request of the previous Cocoa Board extension officer there was no knowledge of hive beekeeping in the area. After discussions with the membership, a foundation project was funded for 25 participants – 14 women and 11 men – including 12 youth members. The participants were fairly selected using our Ghanaian project baseline tool and one representative per family guideline and received basic beekeeping training and equipment in September 2020.
Covid restrictions brought many challenges with little passing trade yielding very little income for essentials and bills between cocoa harvests. But Partnership Manager Trisha visited the group in January 2022 with Ghana Regional Trainer Network trainer Thomas, much delayed due to Covid and was happy with progress within the group. We are now seeking to enter the livelihood phase of the project as soon as possible to be able to support the group with apiaries from hive kits the members will assemble and a library of protective equipment. Additionally, the provision of small scale processing equipment and an added value course for some of the women who are very motivated at the idea of market sales will give a robust base for a sustainable business.
Gladys has dreams of her own cocoa trees and income from quality honey and this World Bee Day we want share her dream with you. By sponsoring this project, you can help to make her dream come true!