Bee-keeping for income and forest protection
In Katoba, to the east of the Zambian capital Lusaka, felling of trees for charcoal making provides the only available source of income for many households. To address the problem, the Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre is supporting the adoption of bee keeping as an alternative source of income. Donald Zulu explains the double benefits of bee keeping, both for income generation and environmental protection. We also hear from Japhet Seulu of Community Markets for Conservation, about a pricing system for crop production which is helping to reduce slash-and-burn agriculture, another major cause of deforestation in the area. And lead farmer, Peter Chabola, explains why he prefers keeping bees to making charcoal, as a means to raise his family.
Zambia has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world. Between 1990 and 2010, it is estimated that more than 3 million hectares of forest in Zambia were cut down - that’s an area bigger than the whole of Rwanda. But why are so many trees being cut down? There are several reasons: clearing of land for farming is a major factor, but logging for timber and cutting trees for firewood and charcoal are also important.
For many rural households, earning a living from farming and from selling firewood and charcoal are essential to survival. But in the long term, making a living by cutting trees will bring its own problems, making the land barren and impossible to farm. Finding other ways to earn a living, which don’t depend on cutting of trees can therefore protect farming communities for the long term future. Friday Phiri now reports on how farming communities living to the east of Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, are turning to bee keeping as a new source of income.
And Friday was investigating how some farmers in Zambia have adopted bee keeping, as an alternative to charcoal making, in order to earn an income while protecting their forests for future generations. That report was one in a series supported by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network.
Making the most of it:
Your listeners may be interested in bee keeping, as a new source of income. But how can they get started? What equipment, knowledge and skills do they need - and how big an investment of money? Try to identify a local beekeeper, or organisation promoting beekeeping, to give some practical advice on getting started.
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