Sustainable Economic Empowerment Through Honey Production

This project seeks to empower women and girls to produce honey and various honey/wax products for improved income levels and economic empowerment. These shall be put in groups for honey and honey products production and shall be trained in bee-hives making, bee-keeping, honey production and wax/honey products making and in marketing of their products. The project shall further link them to markets for sale of their products. To enhance their access to financial services these groups shall also be treated as Savings and Loan groups for their improved access to community led financial services so that they can easily improve existing businesses and also start other businesses.

The Problem
Rights holders (women) are poor due to limited access to land and financial means to start and/ or improve their businesses. They also lack knowledge & skills in entrepreneurship and financial management. Some that are productive are limited by lack of or limited access to markets. This is compounded by the business environment that is not very supportive even in the presence of a number of laws and policies developed by the Government to support small businesses.The majority of Zambians, especially the women (51% of population), have no jobs and have no capacity to earn a living. The most vulnerable people groups are women due to cultural limitations and lack of self-esteem and limited empowerment programs. A high proportion of women have no access at all to financial services to start and / or to improve their businesses.

The targeted women and girls shall be empowered in bee-keeping and production of honey and honey products in an affordable and sustainable way and shall be trained in bee-hives making and marketing of their products as well as linked to existing markets.

Potential Long Term Impact
Bee-keeping needs little start up capital which is mainly labour and is affordable even by people considered as the poorest. This being the case therefore, it is a good ladder towards sustainable economic empowerment as local people can be trained to make Bee-Hives using local materials and hence there is no need to buy Bee-Hives. Bee-keeping has not only economic benefits but also environmental benefits. Once benefits of Bee-Keeping area realised the positive impact and benefits shall extend to forests conversation and reduction of uncontrolled deforestation which currently is high in Zambia. Bee-keeping also increases communities’ resilience to disasters like floods such that even if they are displaced they can still keep bees as one does not need to own land to do Bee-Keeping in Zambia.

The following are the activities:
1. Training in bee-hives making, Bee-Keeping, honey production, production of honey products, entrepreneurship and business establishment/ growth.
2. Establishing women led honey production groups/ enterprises
3. Facilitating linkages with private sector actors & markets.
4. Training on Marketing Establishing Savings & Loan Groups.
5. Training on value addition/ Provision of value chain tools.
6. Facilitating packaging, branding and labeling on packaging materials/bottles.

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