SNV in Ethiopia is strengthening the apiculture sector input supply system through local lead input suppliers and service providers.
The honey sub-sector input supply chain is under-developed in Ethiopia resulting in smallholder beekeepers’ low level access and utilisation of quality inputs. More than 96% of the honey produced in the country comes from the use of traditional inputs and practices. The number of private honey input supply businesses is limited in the country. This has created inefficiency in production and supply of honey for local consumption and international market. As a result, despite its enormous potential, the development of the sub-sector has been hampered.
Apiculture Scaling-Up Programme for Income and Rural Employment (ASPIRE) is closely working with 15 lead input suppliers to ultimately ensure the setting up of a quality, reliable and sustainable input supply system for the subsector development. These private shop owners will enhance access and availability of improved honey inputs and services supply for smallholder, semi-commercial and commercial beekeepers.
Identifying 15 competent local input and service providers, SNV has strengthened their technical, business and promotional capacity to help them become lead input and service suppliers. In addition, SNV has linked them with local input supply system supporters such as development partners and government offices for reliable market and national importers for sustainable industrial materials sourcing.
These private input suppliers have started to address the input supply gap in their localities in equipment important for beehive management and honey harvesting including improved beehives, protective cloth, glove and boots. These resulted in increased demand for the materials and income for the business owners. Some of the lead input suppliers and service providers have succeeded in earning more than ETB 1.4 million (USD 60,870) in less than ten months period.
Hintsa Gebre Hiwet, owner of beekeeping input shop, said, “I have earned considerable income from producing and distributing beekeeping inputs. The result has energised me to engage in honey processing and exporting in addition to distributing the inputs to beekeepers.”
The result, according to Timoteos Hayesso, Deputy Project Manager, will improve the volume and quality of the produced honey. “Through increased production, productivity and quality of honey, Ethiopian honey exporters will get reliable source to meet their international orders and contracts” added Timoteos. The cumulative effect of all these will help the country’s honey export to grow tremendously and also help target smallholder beekeepers to increase their income from their practice to 360 Euro/HH/year allowing ASPIRE to achieve one of its objectives.
SNV started implementing ASPIRE in 2013 to increase the income of 30,000 direct beneficiaries in 52 woredas/districts of Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR and Tigray; and enhance Ethiopia’s performance as a significant exporter of apiculture products specifically, honey, beeswax, pollen and propolis.
The project is implemented with funding from Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and in a consortium comprising of SNV Ethiopia, EAB, Enclude and ProFound. The government partners are also playing a key role in implementing the project at all levels. It aims to contribute to poverty reduction in rural areas of Ethiopia by establishing a dynamic and sustainable apiculture sector.