Promoting youth participation in beekeeping
I am Ayoade Akande. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a postgraduate degree in Crop, Soil and Pest Management. I hail from a village in Akiriboto-Oke in Gbongan, Osun State, Nigeria. I am 36 years old.
At age eight, I began farming with my father and developed interest in agriculture. I started rearing rabbits at this age and I grew 3 rabbits to 48.
The need to reduce poverty amidst youths spurred my interest in agriculture. Due to its low risk and high yielding potential, I decided to develop myself in beekeeping. In year 2002, during my undergraduate years, I constructed some hives and started to practice beekeeping. I was able to make amazing income to support myself while in school.
In my desire to give back to my society, I initiated training youths in my community in beekeeping for free. This initiative was later supported by Bees for Development and has recorded amazing success. I am passionate about helping young people to proactively contribute to innovative, environmentally and economically sustainable agricultural development through apiculture.
In 2015, I was able to secure seed grants from Bees Abroad to train youths for free in beekeeping. A total of five (5) youths comprising of three (3) men and two (2) women were trained. Each participant was given a complete bee suit and a hive. I provided technical training for all the participants and constantly offer technical advice after the training.
The development of marketing skills in youths has been one of my main focuses. Most youths believe that selling honey is not an attractive venture. However, this was proved wrong as I was able to show that I have never been able to meet demand. On an annual basis, I produce well over 150 litres of honey and yet unable to meet demand. I intend to expand the current project supported by Bees Abroad to 20 more participants comprising of 12 women and 8 men.
Bee suits for 20 participants: $680
80 Hives (4 hives per participant): $2560
Hive tools for 20 participants: $400
Processing tanks and tools for 20 participants: $640
Solar wax extractor for 20 participants: $400
Transportation of hives and participants to field: $320
I will bear the cost of the technical training as my own matching cost to the support. I will be using success recorded from previous trainings as the benchmark for program.
The project will be carried out in one complete season (June – April). Technical support will be offered to participants for two (2) years after completion of the project.
Blogpost and pictures submitted by Ayoade Akande (Nigeria) – haywhyho2000(at)gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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