Too much reliance on any one crop leaves farmers exposed to price changes, so it makes sense to diversify sources of income. Diversifying also spreads income out from the main cocoa harvests. Beekeeping is a good alternative for farmers as it doesn’t require extra land and produces honey which they can use or sell.
In Ghana, 13 farmers have been provided with hives, bees and protective equipment. We have also given them training in making and marketing their honey. Although the pilot program is still ongoing, the initial results appear positive.
In Côte d’Ivoire we have begun training 257 women to keep bees. The women are formed into groups of 12 or so with a lead beekeeper. We provide 35 hives of bees to each group and hope to harvest 1 500 litres of honey this year. Kwame Abdue, Cocoa Farmer and master trainer in Beekeeping in the Nestlé Cocoa Plan in Ghana is pleased with the outcome of the program so far, telling us “I recommend beekeeping to all of the farmers in the cooperative as a relatively easy way of getting additional income.”