CFP Empowers Rural Communities through Honey Production and Bee Keeping Initiative

With a broad smile, Mary Banda carefully stands up as she prepares to present her concluding remarks before her visitors. “I would like to thank BCP for empowering the people of Rufunsa with lifesaving skills and providing us with hives and swarm boxes which we cannot afford to buy on our own. The training we have received today will go a long way in helping us improve our livelihoods through honey production,” observes Banda.

Banda was among the sixteen (16) community members from Ndubulula and Namanongo Zone, Rufunsa District who took part in a three day honey production and beekeeping training organized by BioCarbon Partners in partnership with Luano Honey through the USAID-funded Community Forests Program (CFP).

Zambia today, including the project area adjacent to the Lower Zambezi REDD+ project, continues to grapple with forest loss through deforestation and forest degradation. The rate of deforestation is largely linked to unsustainable charcoal production, small holder agriculture expansion, lack of economic development and poverty.

The need to address deforestation and forest degradation has led to a host of interventions. Improving community wellbeing through sustainable livelihood support activities such as poultry farming, fisheries, piggery, and beekeeping; while providing market for locally produced products is seen as a possible remedy to reducing pressure on forests and eliminating rural poverty. In Rufunsa District, BioCarbon Partners through the USAID-funded CFP is spearheading various community livelihood activities with a view to improving community lives.

The honey production and beekeeping training was focused on four key thematic areas including: honeybees and their importance; management of honeybees; hive products and processing; and familiarization with common beekeeping terms. Participants also received seven hives each with one swarm box, total of over 110 hives. Over 200 hives are earmarked to be given to the communities in total.

The need for continuity was strongly echoed by the participants. “Let this be the beginning of your good work in Rufunsa and not the last. BCP should extend this kind of training even to other areas of the district so that other people can benefit from what we have learnt today.I would also like to call upon community members to support BCP as the company continues to offer support to the communities.”

BCP envisions this initiative to grow to include several hundred households managing up to 3,000 hives in the area in beekeeping and linking them to markets through commercial companies. This training, in fact, was just the first step in this multi-year effort.

This blog is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The content of this blog are the sole responsibility of BCP and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

Community members from Ndubulula and Namanongo Zone attending a Honey Production and Bee keeping training organized by BCP in partnership with Luano Honey, Rufunsa District

Community members from Ndubulula and Namanongo Zone attending a Honey Production and Bee keeping training organized by BCP in partnership with Luano Honey, Rufunsa District

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