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Bee Farmers urged to join cooperatives

Bee keepers in Siaya County have been encouraged to join co-operatives to enable them reap maximum benefits for their products.

According to the county bee keeping cooperative chairperson George Nyambara, joining the society will enable the farmers not only find market but also negotiate for better prices for their honey.

Interviewed by KNA in Bondo, Nyambara stated that the society was empowering bee keepers in the county by providing them with hives and equipment through loaning schemes.

He disclosed that currently there are 2,500 registered bee farmers affiliated to 21 groups in the county.

“As we speak, we have groups in West Sakwa, West Asembo, North Uyoma, East Yimbo, ,Ugunja and Sidindi totaling to 2,500 members,” he disclosed.

The chairperson further revealed that the county produces about 300 tons of honey annually, surplus of which is sold to other regions.

Nyambara stated that the cooperative society is seeking to moderate the price of honey in the region to Sh600 per kilo to fetch better prices for the farmer.

“We have noted that a section of farmers are taking their products to the market on their own and selling at throw away prices. This causes variation in prices and negatively affects other farmers,” he said.

He stated that they intend to sensitize the public on bee keeping, honey harvesting, storage, marketing and the use of protective gears during harvesting adding the public would also be made aware of byproducts such as soap, candle wax, and body creams to encourage them to venture into apiculture.

Nyambara disclosed that although the region experiences low rainfall, they are encouraging farmers to venture into bee keeping as a diversification of crop farming to supplement food production in the area.

“Farming of both bee and crop requires rainfall and due to deforestation we have been experiencing low rainfall. We are therefore encouraging the planting of trees to attract rainfall,” he said.

The chairperson stated that they have partnered with Egerton University to train farmers, which has enabled them to overcome bee-phobia as well as commercialize the venture.

By Annita Otieno and Wycliffe Okoth 

 

 

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