August 19, 2022

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First Person: The honey enterprise proprietor making a buzz in northern Uganda

“I used to work in an office, and people would come to my place of work to sell ‘West Nile honey’, named after the region I come from. I was interested to see that my region was being used as a brand, and discovered that West Nile is one of the top ranked regions in Uganda for the production of honey.

So, I decided that I would come back home, and start a company to serve my community.

UN News/ Hisae Kawamori

Sam Aderobu, found of Honey Pride

A product in demand

The product is in demand, both locally and internationally, and has positive medicinal and food properties. We realized that there is strong potential to produce it on a large scale.

However, many people in this region are only collecting honey in a traditional way, as a hobby. We decided to give farmers guidance, and provide them with the necessary skills because before, they were working without any formal support; no-one was willing to invest in supporting them to improve the quality of their honey.

Today, we’re working with over 1,700 farmers, who harvest honey from apiaries on their land. We provide a reliable market for them, which encourages them to produce more.

Beekeeper Betty Ayikoru, Arua, northern Uganda

UN News/ Hisae Kawamori

Beekeeper Betty Ayikoru, Arua, northern Uganda

Economy, environment and society

We believe that if beekeeping is taken to a level where farmers understand it as a as a business, it’s going to improve their livelihoods; when we started the business in 2015, a kilo of honey sold for around 3,500 Ugandan Shillings. Today it’s about 7,000 Shillings. This has motivated many farmers to go into beekeeping.

Now they can afford basic necessities, and they don’t have to worry about going hungry. They can buy goats and other animals, and pay their children’s school fees. Some have even been able to acquire property. Beekeeping is changing their lives.

Our vision was to be a market leader in the sale of sustainable beehive products in the Great Lakes region, and to sell globally. Our products are now meeting international standards, and are being accepted in foreign markets”.

We’re attempting to construct up a devoted administration crew, and plenty of of them are younger individuals. We’re getting assist from a programme run by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which is addressing the perspective of youth in the direction of agriculture, and the way they are often motivated to embrace agriculture as a supply of employment.

The younger individuals we’re interacting with, are starting to appreciate that they’ve a giant half to play in nationwide growth. So, whereas we wish to make a revenue, we even have a social facet to what we do.

Beekeeper Betty Ayikoru and her family at their home in Arua, northern Uganda

UN News/ Hisae Kawamori

Beekeeper Betty Ayikoru and her household at their house in Arua, northern Uganda

Overcoming the monetary challenges

Finance has been one in every of our largest challenges. Because of a scarcity of finance, a lot of the honey-making course of have been performed manually. However, the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), has enabled us to get funding from the Uganda Development Bank, and enhance a part of our manufacturing course of.

We are actually utilizing an electrical honey press, and had been capable of purchase a filtering machine to enhance the standard of our product. We are capable of course of about 5 tonnes of honey in a month, which is a really massive leap in capability, and I’m certain that we will develop that to about 15 tonnes.

We’re very grateful for the assist we obtained from UNCDF, as a result of it additionally helped us to enhance our enterprise administration, enhance manufacturing, and enhance the standard of our product.”

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