In northern Ethiopia, there is a huge problem of landlessness amongst a whole generation of young people. Thousands lack the education they need to find good jobs in urban areas, and with no land to speak of they face a future of chronic poverty, "with no hope", as one said. Yet there is one cash crop which is much in demand. And it needs almost no land and little start-up costs to produce. Honey! We will help 50 young women and men start beekeeping businesses to give them a more secure future.
People in rural Dangila rely on the land to survive. There are almost no jobs. And yet there is now a huge problem of landlessness too. The youth are unable to acquire land to establish farms of their own - and they are faced with an utterly desperate future of chronic poverty, hunger and hopelessness. A baseline study showed that annual income for people 20-25 years old was US 380. Yet these youngsters have an incredible work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit. They have so much potential.
Young people say they need a livelihood that does not require land and we are ready to help them. To start beekeeping. Bees occupy the space only where the beehives are located - the bees themselves feed on land belonging to other people. An average apiary, well-managed, can produce 100 kg of honey per year and with current honey prices at US 3 per kilo this equates to US 300 - so nearly doubling the current annual income of landless youth. There is a huge, growing market for honey and wax.
This project will give 50 young people a skill that will last a life-time. Beekeeping is sustainable and does not degrade the environment. Beekeeping, through sale of honey and beeswax, will give these young people a reliable income stream, every year. This money can be used for daily expenses and also to invest in other enterprises, e.g. vegetable growing. We will help 50 young people, but our experience shows that people often pass on their skills - and bees - to friends and family as well.