UNTAPPED POTENTIAL

Waiguru gives out beehives to encourage farmers to diversify

In Summary
  • The initiative falls under the county's Wezesha Kirinyaga economic empowerment programme
  • It is expected that each group will produce up to 30kg of honey per hive and sell it at Sh800 per kilo. This will add up to about Sh576,000 per year
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru hands out beehives.
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru hands out beehives.
Image: WANGECHI WANG'ONDU

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has distributed 456 beehives to farmers' groups to boost honey production.

The 19 groups made up of 24 members each were given 24 Kenya top bar beehives and two honey harvesting kits each.

The initiative falls under the county's Wezesha Kirinyaga economic empowerment programme. 

Distributing the hives at Kianjiru in Gichugu constituency, Waiguru said the aim is to enable farmers to diversify and increase their incomes.

She said there's a huge demand for honey in the county and the country at large in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This project, therefore, seeks to harness beekeeping by supporting the farmers to exploit the untapped potential in apiculture,” Waiguru said.

One advantage of beekeeping is it requires little land, hence, suitable for youth and women who own little or no land. It also requires little capital, she said. 

Waiguru said it is expected that each group will produce up to 30kg of honey per hive and sell it at Sh800 per kilo. This will add up to about Sh576,000 per year.

There are about 13,000 beehives in the county, including Langstroth, Kenya Top-bar Beehive and the traditional log hives. The county produces about 359 tonnes of honey per year.

Waiguru said Kenya produces about 11,000 tonnes of honey and around 2 tonness of beeswax annually, which is just 20 per cent of its potential.

The programme, she aid, will incorporate more groups in subsequent phases to increase production. 

The groups included Ngariama North Boda, Kanjikomu, Guama Utheri, Boda and Kianjiru self-help groups.

Distribution in other constituencies will be done in subsequent days.

The top bar hives distributed by Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru to 19 groups.
The top bar hives distributed by Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru to 19 groups.
Image: WANGECHI WANG'ONDU