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Self-help business model: Quality honey, happy beekeeper and healthy environment

This is production and marketing of organic honey from the natural forest area working with rural unemployed youth connecting to market.

Photo of Jony Girma

Written by

EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

Ethiopia has huge potential of honey production which has annual production of about 53,000 tons of honey per year. This is 10 % of total potential of the country. Out of the annual production only five percent reaches the market in value added way. Most of the honey wasted on the farm gate due to lack of colony management skill, poor postharvest handling and lack of improved technologies. Our idea is to work with rural unemployed youth support them to have well organized commercial bee farm, developing learning center, establishing collection and value addition center near to beekeepers site, developing coaching system, developing organic production scheme and linking to support other beekeepers. This is about developing self-help business model and meets the sustainable organic export market. Since beekeeping activities are seasonal, it is important to make all season specific information available on time. Beekeepers will be trained, share experience and practice before adopting improved technologies. The collection and value addition center makes the beekeepers to supply their product easily without any transportation which control the postharvest handling problems. They can learn how to add values on their product to earn more prices. In addition, they will have premium price from sales of organic and fair-trade honey. This project will solve the postharvest problem, access to information to improved technologies, connect to market and unemployment problem.

WHO BENEFITS?

Beekeepers in the forest area, unemployed youth, agricultural graduates and any other actors in the honey value chain are beneficiaries of this project.

WHERE WILL YOUR IDEA BE IMPLEMENTED?

Yes.

ARE YOU IMPLEMENTING IN AN ELIGIBLE COUNTRY?

  • Yes

EXPERTISE IN SECTOR

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year

EXPERIENCE IN IMPLEMENTATION COUNTRY(IES)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU!

I am professional in Organic Agriculture and Agricultural Economics. I have experience in organic system development in non-timber forest product. I have established a company working in production, processing and marketing of bee product in Ethiopia.

The honey sector in the country is one of the few sectors that have the most potential to achieve transformation and growth across all categories of rural households. There are an estimated 5.15 million hives in Ethiopia which are almost all entirely maintained by traditional methods by approximately 1.4-1.7 million beekeepers households, who are keeping bees as a means of income generation and livelihood improvement. As a result, Ethiopia is the first in Africa and tenth in the world in honey production. In the natural forest area, 95% of their livelihood depends on honey production. Beekeeping does not require fertile land, a large area, or much initial capital. This makes the sector attractive for small farmers with limited resources. As a result, the importance of beekeeping in poverty reduction and conservation of natural resources have been emphasized by different stakeholders. However, despite its potential role in the development of rural economy, the beekeeping sector faces a number of problems. Lack of beekeeping skills, inappropriate production technologies, weak market access, weak price incentive systems, and limited financial capacity of beekeepers are the major problems which largely reduce the potential contribution of the honey sub-sector. There is a big challenge to bring quality and quantity honey on the market. This is due to poor quality production and big postharvest loss by the beekeepers. The current increasing demand for the organic honey on the international market needs to systematically tackle the mentioned problem and explore the opportunity for the beekeepers.  Our project needs to work with rural unemployed youth to solve the problem through strong business model which bring real and tangible change in the natural forest area. Through supporting them in farm development, certification scheme, developing value addition system and linking them to the sustainable export market. Therefore our intervention will support in connecting to the market, providing information and value addition (storage and processing). 

23 comments

Join the conversation:

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Photo of Jony Girma
Team

Thank you we will work togther. I am happy to share my experince in the sector. 

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Hi Jony
Thank you for your information and all suggestions. Your motive and idea is a promising hope for rural youth.  Keep it up and good luck.

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Jony can we meet please to share your experience? 

Photo of Jony Girma
Team

Why not possible. We can meet and discuss. This is one of my goal to support others to improve quality of honey on the market. 

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Please also let me know any the estimated cost of certification. 

Photo of Jony Girma
Team

The cost is depend on the quantity of certification ( honey) and number of suppliers please contact them. 

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Dear Jony
I need your support on organic honey production. Please let me know how is certifier in Ethiopia? Me and my partners interested in honey production after we read your idea.

Photo of Jony Girma
Team

Some companies are working in the certification of organic. I have experience with company called BCS may be I can give you their contact.

Photo of Jony Girma
Team

I need to make bees for development. 

Photo of Jony Girma
Team

Thank you for your comments. The project is in South west Ethiopia in the natural forest area.

Photo of Lorraine Smith
Team

This is a great idea and I'm so glad to see it here! Honey production seems to be one important piece of forest preservation which will become increasingly valuable in the coming years. Where in Ethiopia are you based? 

Photo of Juan Pablo Ospina Yepes
Team

I like your idea, good look i know some producer in Latin America and the caribean 

Photo of Jony Girma
Team

Thank you Mr. Juan for your comment. My interest to solve the rural youth unemployment through value added organic honey production. Please keep in touch. 

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Please comment on both certification organic and fair-trade. I need your experience for my business. 

Photo of Jony Girma
Team

It is the same procedure for fairtrade and organic. 

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Hi Jony another point. How can you mange the certification issue? It is really important for the beekeepers to have the certificate since internationally there is increasing demand for organic honey. 

Photo of Jony Girma
Team

The certification is done by certifying company from Germany but they have office in Ethiopia. Since I am organic agriculture in profession, I will select the beekeepers, train them and make ready to follow organic principles for 12 months. When all beekeepers are adopt the principles I will apply for inspection and certification by the certifying body. It is important not to have any non conformities in the inspection time. All the certification const will be covered by me. Please will come if you have questions. 

Photo of Beza Mar
Team

In order to increase contribution of honey sector to the rural development such integrated approach of creating access to information and linking to sustainable organic market is vital. It bring all the honey wasted on the farm gate to the market which really important for the beekeepers. Also using rural unemployed youth is good intervention. My question is how can you make the value addition on the farm gate?

Photo of Jony Girma
Team

We developed simple value addition techniques which is easy for beekeepers to apply. This system help beekeepers to supply honey and beeswax separately rather than selling together. It increase the income through selling two product.  For us it is also important since it reduce our processing cost.

Photo of selam Teshome
Team

This is multipurpose intervention job creation, linking to sustainable market and access to information for the farmers. I like you idea. 

Photo of Jony Girma
Team

Thank you for your comments. I will make it.

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

In ethiopia, the current big challenge iss thee rural unemployment which brings big migration to urban and even out of country. I appreciate this project dealing with solving this issue using the forgotten resource we have the natural forest and honey production. Nice to look for organic honey production for the export market. 

Photo of Jony Girma
Team

Even if we have the potential not yet used to make used for rural development. Most of the honey is wasted at farm gate due to poor post-harvest handling problem and lack of skill. Our intervention is to make the beekeepers use it through linking to sustainable market and technology adoption. Thank you for the comment.