Beekeeping has an important role in generating and expanding the income of small-scale cashew farmers. Hives are placed in the orchards in return for bee pollination services, not only boosting cashew nut yields, but the farmer’s income also benefits from the sale of honey and wax.
In Nigeria, Olam Edible Nuts is working in partnership with beeswax exporter Old Levi Multibiz Services Ltd and global processor Koster Keunen , to implement beekeeping programmes in the Idera , Afin and Owode-Ofaro communities of Kwara State. 250 beehives have been provided to 50 farmers to set up in their orchards, along with protective gear, smokers and harvesting tools, and the necessary training. This dynamic partnership means that farmers are connected directly to the market, and so can sell 100% of their bee products at a competitive price.
Cashew farmer and apiarist (bee keeper) Silifatu Ahmed, who previously depended solely on the income from her cashew crop to feed her family and send her kids to school, was able to harvest 15kg of honey and 1kg of beeswax from her four hives in the first year. This means each harvest tops up her income from cashew production by 5%.
“I have been able to earn more from my farm from the sales of honey and wax. By next year I believe I will have more harvest from the beehives, and I can provide for my family. Thank you to Olam and the entire management for helping us with an additional source of income.” Silifatu Ahmed, Cashew farmer, Owode-Ofaro, Kwara State. Nigeria
The impact of introducing beekeeping on farmer livelihoods in each of these communities, is captured through the ‘Economic Opportunity’ and ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ metrics of AtSource.