Self Help Africa has been promoting beekeeping in Eritrea for close to a decade. The objective has been to strengthen existing beekeeping activities in the country, and promoting beekeeping as a viable income generating activity for rural households across the country.
Self Help Africa’s Eritrean beekeeping development programme is being undertaken in Mendefera, Elabered and Merhano regions.
Beekeeping can provide a valuable source of income and of nutrition for subsistence farming families in rural Eritrea.
Although the activity faces significant challenges – including a harsh try climate and often poor access for bees of forage crops, an agro-forestry planting programme being undertaken in conjunction with the development and distribution of colonies has allowed many households to successfully begin honey production at household level.
The project objective is to develop a beekeeping industry in a sustainable manner so as to improve food security and provide adequate quality beehive products for domestic and foreign markets, and to establish an efficient beekeeping extension net work in order to provide technical assistance to farmers.
Self Help Africa has been involved in recent times in supporting the establishment and strengthening of beekeepers associations in the country.
During 2010 the project worked to establish four new beekeeper associations, and to provide technical support to five other existing associations.
More than 1,500 bee colonies were reared and distributed to rural farm households, while over 400,000 tree seedlings to provide forage crops were distributed and planted. 1,000 rural farmers took part in technical training in different aspects of apiculture management.