Project information

Bees for income and cashew pollination in Ghana

Small-scale farmers in Ghana grow cashew but yields are low and they remain in poverty. Bees can solve this problem. Through pollination cashew nut yields - and income - can double. Farmers can also sell honey. We will deliver a project to integrate bees and cashew farming for poverty alleviation.

March 2016 - March 2017

Charity information: Bees for Development Trust

Bees for Development Trust logo
  • Need

    Need

    The primary problem we are trying to solve is income poverty of small-scale farmers in Ghana - with a family of six surviving on about one hectare of land households struggle to meet basic needs, and the wellbeing and education of children suffer. The secondary problem is that cashew nut yields - an important cash crop for these farmers are insufficient because there are not enough bees to pollinate the flowers.

    Solution

    We will solve this problem by integrating beekeeping with cashew farming. We will train ten master beekeepers in Ghana. They will manage their own apiaries and they will also establish bees in their neighbours cashew orchards. The honey yield is shared between the cashew farmer and the master beekeeper. The cashew farmers benefit from increased cashew yields because of pollination. In addition to the shared honey yield the cashew farmer can double her/his nut yield - and income increases.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Master beekeepers have the means and the expertise to scale up their beekeeping enterprises

    Activities

    » Training programme delivered to master beekeepers
    » Master beekeepers are provided with small grants to help them establish colonies in their neighbours cashew orchards
    » Follow-up is provided to ensure master beekeepers are able to optimise their enterprise and secure yields for themselves and the cashew farmers

    We will assess the success of their beekeeping enterprises by monitoring the number of colonies they manage and their honey and beeswax yields


    Aim 2

    Sharing agreements negotiated with cashew farmers who are willing to integrate bees with cashews

    Activities

    » Community workshops to raise awareness about the benefit of bees, and to introduce the land sharing / yield sharing scheme
    » Facilitate agreements between beekeepers and cashew farmers, and provide follow-up support to ensure the scheme works and benefits both parties

    We will assess the number of participating and benefiting cashew farmers, assess how much honey they 'earn' in the yield sharing arrangement - and the change in their cashew yield


  • Impact

    Impact

    The long term change is that the household income of poor, rural farmers in the project area will increase by a target of 30%. This additional income will increase the wellbeing of these households and enhance of the life-chances of their children. We will measure the changes in income and family wellbeing through a simple survey of participating farmers - at the start and end of the project - and tell their stories of change.

    Risk

    Some farmers are afraid of bees. This is why we have designed this master beekeeper / land sharing arrangement scheme - so whilst not everyone wants to be a beekeeper, all can benefit. Another risk is environmental conditions which might effect the productivity of bees. Cashew farmers do not use chemicals and whilst annual variations in yields may occur as a result of the weather, honey bees are known to be resilient and adaptable.

    Reporting

    We will maintain a news, stories and feedback page about the project on our website. Key achievements and events will be told through social media - especially twitter. We will also publish news and achievements in our regular Bees for Development Trust Newsletter.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £15,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £3,500 Training courses Hold four training workshops for ten master beekeepers
      £4,000 Inputs Support package for master beekeepers to establish additional bee colonies
      £3,000 Staff costs Project coordinator (PC) will facilitate the community workshops to introduce and support the scheme
      £2,500 Transport Transport in rural areas for the PC to support and monitor all participants
      £2,000 Admin Project management, budget management and publicity costs
  • Background

    Location

    Wenchi in Brong Ahafo Region in Ghana. The local economy is dominated by subsistence small holder production units with weak linkages, low-level technology and productivity, and un-competitiveness. Cashew farming has been much promoted in recent years. The global demand for cashew nuts is high. This project is a timely and complementary initiative which will add to the productivity of farms in the area - with consequent benefits for the local economy.

    Beneficiaries

    Master beekeepers will benefit - their beekeeping enterprises will grow and they will earn more for their families. At present they earn about US400 per year - our target is a 30% increase.
    Cashew nut farmers - women and men - will benefit from increased cashew yields. They grow yams, tomatoes, maize and cashew. They earn less than US 300 per year. Our target is an income increase of 30%. Income is needed to buy school uniforms, medicines and for re-investment in improved farming.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Bees for Development has over twenty years experience of working with bees, beekeepers and honey trade development for economic and environmental benefit in developing countries. We have experience and expertise in project management and technical aspects of beekeeping in difficult environments. Importantly we will deliver this project with and through our partner in Ghana, an experienced professional beekeeper, pollination expert and community development worker.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Dr. Kwame Aidoo

    Manage the project in Ghana, deliver training to master beekeepers and run community workshops to tell about the benefits of bees for cashew growing.

    Janet Lowore

    Will provide project oversight, budgeting, monitoring and reporting in the UK.

Honey bee pollinating cashew flowers

Honey bee pollinating cashew flowers

Four hives on my 3 ac cashew farm improved yields from 30 to 45 bags ; I harvested 85 kg honey, these supported my children's education

Mr Kwesi Owusu, Kranka, Brong Ahafo Region. Ghana