Transforming rural lives with bees..
I first met Benedicto by chance in September and was very impressed by the cooperative he founded and his meticulously costed plans to avert poverty in his village by developing agriculture. I returned to Zeze this week and spent two nights in the village finding out more.
Zeze is 41km from the nearest town and electricity supply. Water is problematic. Almost all of the inhabitants are farmers growing maize and beans, with an average annual income per family of around 300,000 shillings (£112). This explains why many of the children have ragged clothes and no shoes.
Benedicto and his group have many plans to raise income, including growing more lucrative crops such as Moringa. Currently his immediate concern is to put in hives before March 15th when the bees begin to swarm. He has worked out that by sourcing the wood from one farmer and carrying it on foot to the local fundi he can get the hives made for around £20 each. He estimates each hive will generate 30 litres of honey and he has already found buyers willing to buy in bulk. Therefore when he harvests in October he should be able to make a good profit that can be used to support projects in the village.
His problem is capital. He has identified
150 good sites for hives. Currently he has funds for 15 hives. He would like to set up at least 40. Therefore he is offering anyone who invests £20 in a hive now a return of £25 in November when the honey is sold. That's a return on investment far better than your bank, and a good cause to boot..
If you would like to invest in a hive in Zeze village, or to know more about this project please email firstname.lastname@example.org.