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Kenya – Women and Youths Transform Kakamega Through Thriving Beekeeping Ventures

In the heart of Kakamega County, where the air is fragrant with rosemary, lavender, and lemon grass, a transformative buzz is taking place. Every morning, Wycliffe Ingosi and his team embark on a mission, picking buckets of nature’s bounty to nurture their thriving beehives. Beekeeping, a socio-economic activity blossoming in Kakamega, is not just about honey; it’s a movement empowering women and youth, one hive at a time.

The Kakamega Beekeeping Renaissance: A Symphony of Nature and Entrepreneurship

Dressed in a white apron and mesh hat, Wycliffe Ingosi reveals the artistry behind beekeeping. The hives, strategically placed along the riverbanks, face North-South, preventing the drifting of honeybees and ensuring a harmonious coexistence. It’s a dance with nature, a delicate balance that transforms these hives into buzzing treasures.

The Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Kakamega County Government, initiated a groundbreaking project. Beehives, symbolic wooden squares with metallic covers, found their way into the hands of women and youth-led chamas, turning them into economic powerhouses.

Beekeeping: A Ladder for the ‘Hustlers’ of Kakamega

“Beekeeping is ideal for any ‘hustler’ like me who may have no land or capital. Bees are also the ideal livestock to keep because they are environmentally friendly,” asserts Ingosi. The beekeeping revolution is not confined by traditional constraints; it welcomes individuals without vast lands or substantial capital, offering an inclusive opportunity for economic empowerment.

Liz Makumba, a proud member of a women and youth chama in Imulama, Ikolomani constituency, testifies to the transformative power of beekeeping. No longer do they traverse long distances in search of honey, exposing themselves to counterfeit products. Instead, they’ve become creators of quality, cultivating their honey with pride.

From Honey to Wealth: Kakamega’s Ambitious Vision

Jessicah Wesonga, Chief Officer of Livestock, Veterinary Services, and Fisheries, sheds light on the grand vision behind this beekeeping initiative. Aligned with Governor Fernandes Barasa’s development agenda, it targets wealth creation and food security, aiming to elevate the living standards of residents.

“Bees produce various products, from honey to propolis and beeswax, which fetch good money in the market, making beekeeping one of the most profitable economic activities,” states Wesonga. The buzz isn’t just about honey; it’s a symphony of economic opportunities that can elevate Kakamega to new heights.

Project Unveiling and Future Horizons: A Three-Million-Shilling Investment

Last month marked the initiation of phase one of the Sh3 million beekeeping project, spanning four constituencies. Ikolomani, Likuyani, Mumias West, and Matungu witnessed the distribution of equipment, protective gear, smokers, and accessories to three groups per subcounty. The meticulous selection of interested groups, done in collaboration with MCAs, sets the stage for a thriving beekeeping renaissance.

The sweet success doesn’t stop here. The next phase, scheduled for the coming year, promises to embrace the remaining constituencies. From Mumias East to Navakholo, Kakamega is poised to become a hive of prosperity, fostering economic growth and attracting investors.

Kakamega’s Symphony of Success Through Beekeeping

As the sun sets over the lush landscapes of Kakamega, the hum of bees and the promise of prosperity linger in the air. Women and youths, once on the fringes, are now the architects of their economic destiny, turning beehives into symbols of empowerment. The beekeeping renaissance in Kakamega is more than a buzz; it’s a sweet symphony of success.

Original article written by MAUREEN KINYANJUI

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