Mecca is a 74-year-old grandmother from Oposhi. She has a 20 hectare farm, part of which she uses to grow maize, beans, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, ground nuts and watermelons. Some she keeps and others she sells, while the other part of her land is left as woodland. Mecca registered for the bee keeping livelihood empowerment scheme after community sensitization meetings at which women particularly were encouraged to register. Her farm was visited to assess the condition of the woodland and when it was certified as good old growth woodland with potential to support bee keeping, she set aside 2.2 hectares of her 20 hectare farm for the ANR programme and was given five bee hives.
Like most families in the area, she has divided parts of her farm and given parcels to her grown children. Trees are cut for agricultural activities or for charcoal production and she has been facing increasing pressure from her children to open up the old growth woodland for charcoal production which she has resisted for a long time. When WeForest introduced the bee keeping programme, it was a huge relief to her because she can now earn an income and her grandchildren can see the benefits of keeping the trees standing.
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