Beekeeping, honey production and a farmer-owned co-op

The Baringo area in Kenya is highly dependent on small-scale agriculture, which is being negatively impacted by climate change. The aim of the project, Baringo Honey Value Chains, is to provide small-scale farmers in Baringo, Kenya with training in sustainable agricultural methods. It focuses on beekeeping and honey production as well as supporting a farmer-owned co-op to strengthen their market position, thereby giving small-scale entrepreneurs opportunities for growth.

Background

Baringo County in Kenya has been hit hard by droughts and irregular rainfalls during the past six years. These factors have increased the vulnerability of the county’s small-scale farmers, who are already in an extremely vulnerable position and highly dependent on their farming to put food on the table. By diversifying their farms, and engaging in beekeeping, these farmers both diversify their sources of income and are able to vary their diets. Furthermore, they contribute to local biodiversity as bees play an important role in the ecosystem as pollinators.

The Baringo Honey Value Chains project is taking place during 2020–2022. The majority of crops and plants characteristic for Kenya, and Eastern Africa, are highly dependent on pollination to survive and spread. Project participants receive training and assistance with equipment from local external partners. This training teaches sustainable and safe handling of bee colonies, as well as effective methods for honey production. At the same time, the participants also receive training in environment and climate issues, with concrete examples of how to mitigate and adapt to the negative effects of climate change, such as droughts and irregular rainfalls. Water resource management, forest farming, and crop diversification are key components.

The current project builds upon prior experiencesfrom training and assisting participants in organising co-ops with the capacity of producing, packaging, and wholesaling large quantities of honey. In this intervention the co-op will receive more assistance so it can grow and evolve. The process will be documented to contribute to a manual in “Market Systems Development”, involving additional value chains.

The two main objectives of the project

The two main objectives of the project

  • Enhancing 2,000 small-scale farmers’ capacity to mitigate and adapt to environmental challenges and climate change through resilient, innovative, and sustainable agriculture, focussing on beekeeping and honey production.
  • Strengthening the honey co-op through knowledge-building, administrative and practical capacity, and increasing membership (from 1,500 to 2,000 members). Providing the co-op’s leaders with training in rights-based work.
Relationship to the UN’s global Sustainable Development Goals

Relationship to the UN’s global Sustainable Development Goals

The project primarily contributes towards the UN’s SDG 1, No Poverty; SDG 2, Zero Hunger; SDG 5, Gender Equality; SDG 15 Life on Land.