With only two harvests a year, the off-season is a typically lean period for the 5,000 Ghanaian households who depend on cashew as their sole means of income.
Working with cashew farming communities throughout West Africa, Olam has been supporting those facing this daily reality, helping them get up and running with additional income-generating activities to improve living standards for the farmers and their families. One such activity Olam has introduced in the Bono East and Savanna regions, in partnership with German development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, is beekeeping.
In the last year, 400 female cashew farmers have received beekeeping training, two hives each and harvesting and processing equipment. They place their hives in the cashew orchards in return for the pollination services of their bees. During the first production year, the initiative has achieved 80% hive colonisation, which will produce around 40,000 lbs of honey for harvesting in May this year.
For participating farmer Adutwumwaa Comfort from the village of Asueyi, this means a 15% increase in her income over the year: “I will be able to harvest about 40 lbs of honey from my apiary next year (2020). Olam has provided me an opportunity to earn additional income during the cashew lean season so I can support my children’s' education.