Bees are amazing! They can help to solve poverty in more ways than one. In Ghana cashew farmers struggle to make ends meet. Bees can change this - twice over! They can give farmers honey to sell AND they can improve cashew nut yields through pollination. Research has shown that bees can increase cashew yields by 100%. This project will train some of the poorest farmers in Ghana to start beekeeping and secure a better future for their families - with the help of the honey bee.
Small-scale farmers in Ghana work hard but 39% suffer from extreme poverty - this undermines children's wellbeing and education. In the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana farmers produce cashew nuts as a cash crop, but yields are insufficient. Research shows that a reason for low yields is poor pollination. Another problem faced by poor families is the danger of being over-reliant on one crop. Diversification is key to reducing their vulnerability - when faced with uncertain markets and climate change.
Honey bees can help to solve this problem. Through good pollination of the flowers, cashew nut yields - and therefore cashew income - can double. Farmers can sell honey and beeswax too, thereby adding to the range of feasible farm activities, while helping to maintain bees and biodiversity too. We will deliver a project to integrate bees and cashew farming for poverty alleviation.
The potential long term impact of this project is a more diverse farming system and increased family income for 50 farming families. Increased family income can pay for children's education - school fees and school books, plus basic household expenses like medicines and seeds. This kind of support is vital in giving young people a chance in life. Integration of beekeeping with cashew farming can increase a family's income by 30%.