Honing in on Zambian honey
PDAs help rural beekeepers certify and sell organic honey
Honey is in plentiful supply in Zambia and 50,000 small-scale farmers currently work in the industry. Information and communication constraints in the sector currently inhibit beekeepers to sell abroad, since to do this their honey must be certified first. Community extension workers will use PDAs to collect data about beekeepers in 3 districts (Kasama, Kaputa and Kaoma), certify their honey and access new regional and international markets via the web. ICT will also be used to show beekeepers how to diversify their bee products to include bees wax, propolis and royal jelly.
Who will benefit?
- 35 producer organisations reached
- 500 producers/entrepreneurs trained
- 10000 users
- 5 staff trained
- 5 organisations trained
- 1000 people affected
Kaoma, Kaputa, Kasama districts
Project in depth
Economic development Category: Economic development
IT and communication Category: ICT
Zambia has a long history of beekeeping. Traditionally, engagement in beekeeping has tended to be part-time and mainly practiced by small-scale farmers during the out-of-farming season. However, many communities now realise the potential of beekeeping to raise their standard of living. Nevertheless, inadequate investment in this sector, combined with a desperate shortage of critical information to and from the beekeepers - means that the great potential of this sector to improve Zambia's economy and the livelihoods of 55,000 beekeepers has so far been under-exploited.This project uses ICT tools to strengthen the production and marketing practices of Zambia's small-scale beekeepers, which in turn will accelerate the development of the sector and increase earnings for those working in the honey sector.
The Organic Producers and Processors Association of Zambia (OPPAZ) already has working relationships with these beekeeping groups. ICT will enable these groups to be supported more effectively by providing additional information and communication services. The use of ICT to specifically support bee keepers and their information and communication needs will begin under this project.
The community extension workers stationed in each of the locations will collect and send information on honey production to a central database and website, making Zambian volumes accessible for potential buyers and other actors in the honey value chain. Information on regional and international market demands will be shared with the bee keepers, incl. desired quality, quantities, timing, packaging and labeling. Additionally, information and skills training for bee keepers regarding improved production, processing, packaging, labeling and branding are envisaged.
Beekeepers, honey gatherers, and small honey processing enterprises in three districts, namely: in Kaoma district (Kaoma Agricultural Diversification and Food Security Project (KADFSP)), in Kaputa district (Mofwe, Chisweswe and Chisoko Bee Keeping Groups) and in Kasama district (Lualua Bee Keepers Association and Bwikashi Properties).
The project aims to especially attract young female entrepreneurs and aspiring beekeepers to take up honey production and associated activities.
- Provide production and marketing information to beekeepers and honey gatherers about modern (and alternative) production practices, market information, buyers' preferences, market standards and regulations, and quality controls.
- Market Zambian bee products to new regional and international markets via the web;
- Collect, store and analyse key data about Zambia's honey sector for improved sector policy- and decision-making;
- Market and production information via website/sms
- New (international) markets for organic honey/bee products
- New income sources from honey-related tourism
- Central database containing data on beekeepers & production
- Increased national annual honey yield
This project makes use of existing organisational activities from the Organic Producers Association Zambia (OPPAZ), and therefore doesn't require significant additional investment in establishing relationships or support structures.
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Akvo Ref: 278