I am Eutichus Kyungu, the Chairperson Kamaki Farmers’ Cooperative society which currently
deals with Honey Value Chain. (2018-2022)
The interest of honey value chain emanated from my father Kyungu mwanaa Mue who
was a very successful beekeeper in 20th centuries. He had close to 300 traditional log hives
and used to harvest an average of 3 tonnes per season.
During my father’s era, there was a lot of exploitation by brokers and the harvests could not
cater for our livelihood. He could not manage to pay school fees, buy food for the family or clothes
to cover ourselves. We used to go to school bare footed.
Honey harvesting in our father’s time was done poorly. They could not follow the right post harvest
handling procedures and were not taking the other hive products as that beneficial to them. They only practiced bee having instead of beekeeping. Hives were not placed in
apiary sites but instead were scattered over and hanged on tall trees. This limited women, youth and
people living with disabilities from entering into this occupation.
From the learned lesson, I thought of starting an improved beekeeping strategy and initiate Apiculture
Value Chain which will allow mainstreaming of all other hive products and make it a gender
friendly activity.
Kamaki Farmers’ co-operative society is now giving trainings and marketing and promoting honey for her farmers for
better prices. It is also doing other hive products and thus opening a chance to beekeepers to enjoy the
opportunities which have not been tapped for many years. It has also created employment for youths
in the area.