Governor Waiguru empowers groups with bee hives to boost honey production
Kirinyaga County Governor Anne Waiguru has distributed 456 bee hives to farmers groups to boost their capacity in honey production. A total of 19 groups each comprised of around 24 members were each given 24 Kenya Topbar Bee hives and two honey harvesting kits.
While distributing the hives at Kianjiru in Gichugu Constituency, the governor said that the launch of bee keeping project, which is part of Wezesha Kirinyaga economic empowerment program, would enable farmers to diversify on their agricultural activities in order to increase their incomes. She said that the project was informed by the huge deficit in meeting demand for honey both in the county and the country at large, noting that there has been widespread awareness about the health benefits of consuming honey, more so in the advent of corona virus outbreak. “This project therefore seeks to harness beekeeping by supporting the farmers to exploit the untapped potential in apiculture”. Said the governor.
She noted that some of the advantages of bee keeping are that it requires less land hence suitable for youth and women and also requires little capital since one can start with even two hives. One can also utilize land that is not suitable for tilling. Waiguru noted that bee keeping also contributes to the quantity and quality of crops production through pollination. She pointed out that through the bee keeping project, each of the supported groups is expected to produce up to 30 kilograms of honey per hive and sell it at Ksh. 800 per kilo earning each group about Ksh. 576,000 per year.
In Kirinyaga County there are currently about 13,000 bee hives which include longstroth, Kenya Top-bar Bee Hive and the traditional log hives which all produce about 359 tons of honey per year. The governor observed that Kenya produces an estimated 11,000 metric tons of honey and around 2 tons of beewax annually, only attaining 20% of the country’s potential. The program will therefore incorporate more groups in subsequent phases to increase on production.
During the event, the governor distributed 120 bee hives to 5 groups drawn from the five Gichugu constituency wards. Ngariama North Boda Selfhelp group, Kanjikomu, Guama Utheri, Boda and Kianjiru self-help groups received their bee hives. Distribution to groups in other constituencies will be done in subsequent days.