The location, Brong Ahafo, is an agricultural region with high levels of poverty. To generate income for the local cashew farmers, Bees Abroad is training groups in all aspects of beekeeping, honey processing and marketing.
Brong Ahafo is a major agricultural region of Ghana. Farmers have in the past benefited from the longer than average rainfall season but climate change is now affecting this significantly. The project began in two communities with growing populations, Sabiye and Banda Ahenkro, where around three-quarters of the population lives in poverty. Although increased cashew production has led to improvements in living standards, farmers experience uncontrollable price fluctuations for their crops. Many families depend on a good cashew harvest to keep their children in school. Beekeeping will provide improved pollination for the harvest, and a second income stream from honey.
Bees Abroad activities
The project started in 2015 when funding was found to run beginners courses. Bees Abroad work with the Resource Link Foundation, who provide logistical support and our in-country trainer Thomas Manu. A total of 45 attendees took part in practical sessions, with both women and men sewing beesuits and making hives. The theory sessions focused on life in the hive, forage, honey extraction and all other aspects important to the farmers keeping bees. Trainees were invited to work with active hives, to put into practice all they had learnt. In 2017, a further three village groups and a town group focussing on unemployed youth will be trained in basic beekeeping, while the two original groups will continue their beekeeping journey with extension visits from Bees Abroad trainer Thomas Manu.
This is a young project, and honey has yet to flow from the hives. Despite this, there is already a desire work collectively across the two communities in order to reap the benefits jointly. The need for women and men to work together on all aspects of beekeeping has been established, providing a good basis for the future of this project.
These two locations are geographically close, and the members of each group are keen to build a ‘honey house’ in which to harvest the honey which they anticipate they will collect in the near future. This building will need to be bee-proof and hygienic if the groups are to produce high quality honey that they can sell at a premium.