This three-year project began in May 2018 with the aim of helping vulnerable women in Zambia’s Monze District generate much needed income for themselves and for their households through the craft of modern beekeeping. Read about Stuart Andrew’s recent visit here
Interestingly, this project came about largely as a result of ongoing communication with our local partner in Zambia, the Sustainable Rural Development Agency (SRDA). It was together with SRDA that an earlier four-year project had been successfully undertaken, between 2011-2015, during which time four women’s co-operatives had been set up with a total membership of 64, but by including other household and family members numbered about 350. During the final phase of the project they harvested 2175 kg of honey which provided an income roughly equivalent to about £280 for each co-operative – a substantial sum in terms of what this can buy in rural Zambia.
As with the very similar earlier project that was completed in 2015 the women enrolled on to this new project are all subsistence farmers, many being widows or single mothers that are solely responsible for the wellbeing of their households.
This new project, which in many ways can be looked upon as an extension to the earlier project, is designed to be implemented in three twelve-month phases, each phase being self-contained. The main objectives are:
• To help approximately 120 women in six groups to set up apiaries and equip each of the six apiaries with eight top-bar hives and other beekeeping equipment.
• To train the group members in apiary management and in modern beekeeping, as well as small business skills, and to ensure that each group contains at least some members who have the confidence and skills needed to open, inspect and harvest their hives without help from SRDA.
• To set up a training apiary to offer training for other beekeepers and would be-beekeepers to undertake beekeeping.
• To create employment opportunities among the rural population in the beekeeping industry.
Project Facts at a Glance
- Location: Monze District, southern Zambia.
- Population: 163,578 (2000).
- Local NGO: Sustainable Rural Development Agency (SRDA)
- Project Manager: Dr Stuart Andrews has 30 years experience in biological sciences gained both within the Veterinary Laboratories Agency and the pharmaceutical industry. His skills include project leadership and teaching, and his expertise is in parasitology and global research, development and registration of vaccines for livestock. He has been a bee keeper since 2002 and is chairman of his local beekeeping branch in Canterbury, Kent, UK