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Livelihood Improvement For Small Holder Bee Keepers In West Pokot County

Pokot central, West Pokot County has great potential in bee keeping as more than 80% of the land mass is characterized as arid and semi-arid. This region has an abundance of flora, such as acacia trees, and other factors capable of supporting the apiculture industry all year around. Crop farming in Pokot central is affected by a host of unfriendly climatic conditions such as; prolonged droughts with soils prone to leaching and erosion which affects the quality and quantity of crops. These challenges have resulted to the demotivation and most of all unsustainable income of the communities.

Bee keeping is an important activity that helps rural communities in West Pokot County raise additional income to improve their livelihoods. Often, among rural beekeeping farmers in Pokot Central, it has been widely adopted as an income diversification strategy. In addition, it is a sustainable form of agriculture which is beneficial to the environment. E4Impact Foundation under the resilience project Funded by the European Union as Ustahimilivu Program, has supported 38 honey producer groups through capacity building on honey processing and value addition. The producer groups aggregate their honey from farmers and sell to Cheror Honey Processing Unit (HPU). Upon aggregation, the linked groups sell Cheror honey at a farm gate price of KES 250-300 depending on the season.

Under the EU Resilience project, (Ustahimilivu), Cheror was supported to establish a modern honey processing unit and carpentry in Lomut. Cheror HPU can process and accommodate up to 3 tons of honey per month.

Cheror’s vision is to support transformation of community livelihoods using bee keeping business as a way of creating IGAs thus eliminating hunger, poverty and social economic injustices in the society.

Through collective action groups, E4Impact reiterates that smallholders can attract larger buyers, access larger markets, negotiate stronger prices, and reduce transaction costs to enhance economies of scale.

By Elijah Wekesa

Project Officer

E4Impact Foundation

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