Women-Led Honey Value Chains in Mbalame

Year: 2018
Country: Malawi
Project Investment: $2,998.61
Project Status: Funded
Sector: Economic Opportunity

Project Launch: 8-3-18

This project hopes to engage already experienced female Malawian farmers in beekeeping, climate-smart agricultural technologies, and community empowerment through rights-based approaches. To date, local honey production has been remarkable. However, farmers sell honey at local markets with low prices while the same volume at a supermarket is sold for a premium. Traditionally, women have been sidelined from direct business engagement as they are considered homemakers. Women's exclusion from business, price disparity owing to poor farmer-market coordination, a lack of product quality, underdeveloped packaging and branding, and the absence of bargaining power has left these promising women impoverished and untapped. The goal is to turn the situation around and put female farmers at the head of their own business and their own destiny. 

Project Update: 1-31-19

The first phase of the Women-Led Honey Value Chains in Mbalame project has been completed with the formation of 5 groups consisting of 20 women each, all interested in beekeeping and honey production.  One of the groups, Tikondane women’s club has procured 10 modern beehives which have been installed in the community forest. 000 seedlings have been planted by community members to enhance reforestation initiatives in the safe area. Members of Tikondane women’s group have been partnered with Mwai Fruits Ltd for fruit tree propagation mentor-ship which will be used to integrate more seedlings into the community forest to aid in beekeeping. In the second phase of the project, the women will be involved in vegetable production and processing of fruits such as tomatoes into tomato sauce. Greenlivelihoods and TAWINA organisations intend to train the remaining four groups in similar initiatives once the project has been completed with Tikondane women’s club. The community members are impressed with the approach of involving village development committee and community leaders in project design and implementation as it helps participants understand the importance of in-kind contributions which improve community ownership of projects.

Final Report: 6-12-19

With an investment of $2,998.61, the project led to the formation of five women’s beekeeping groups, from which one of them, the Tikondane women club, was supplied with 10 beekeeping startup kits of modern beehive suits. Tikondane women club has 20 members who have been trained in beekeeping and honey processing and is used as a focal learning point for the other four groups. The group was linked to Fredrick’s Honey and Honey Products Industries (HPI) for further field-based technical extension support, and is expected to process and package honey later in the year. The participating women also planted 1,000 assorted tree seedlings in a partnership with Mwai Fruits Limited, which provided assistance with fruit tree propagation. Through the project, the participating women will earn an income that will sustain and improve their households’ economic levels while ensuring that the local environment is better protected and managed.