Apiculture value chain development: interventions and lessons
Apiculture value chain development
Interventions and lessons
Va l u e c h a i n i n t e r v e n t i o n s management /
Input supply interventions:
Ta r g e t i n g
• Owners of traditional hives
with sufficient water and forage
• Landless youth
• Women can be targeted for
Involve cooperative and private shops Involve small scale carpenters, bee
in the sale of beekeeping accessories keepers in construction of top bar modern hives which are easy
and providing services (wax foundation hives
to manage and inspect in their
Knowledge management / skill
Apiculture value chain actors and development
Access knowledge through
study tours, farmer field days,
farmer to farmer exchange
Increase supply of bee colonies
by splitting techniques
Knowledge/Skills Input supply programs, and woreda
MoARD, BoARD, oARD
Production interventions: EARS (Holeta) Apiculture shops
Private apiculture industry Cooperative shops
Specialist farmers Local carpenters
Consultants Colony producers-collec-
NGOs (SNV) tors
training including indifenous
knowledge with follow up by
Top bar hives or transitional hives, Frame hives or modern hives should
should be considered when the main be considered when honey extraction
market outlet is for crude honey. equipment is available and a market
for pure honey has been identified.
Credit Processing /
Marketing information /knowledge via
Microfinance institutions Ethiopian Agriculture Portal
Cooperatives Private apiculture industry (EAP) www.eap.gov.et
Private apiculture industry Traders
Match apiculture development with Often hives are managed in backyards
available bee forage resources of individual farms.
including new crops, rehabilitated
grazing areas, planted multipupose
bee forages. Lessons & Challenges
• Apiculture value chain development is a continuous process, which requires new responses in knowledge, skills and interventions and
sets of actors depending on differences in the level of commercialization of households and Districts.
Processing / Marketing interventions • In all Districts the project has been able to assist in the commercial transformation process for apiculture production by introducing and/
or expanding the use of improved (frame and top bar) hives through a participatory market oriented value chain approach. Productivity
increases vary considerably between farmers and will need further attention with increased levels of commercialization.
• Previous production interventions had focused solely on the introduction of frame hives, which are appropriate for beekeepers and Dis-
tricts, with a substantial market for pure honey. At early stages of commercialization, where the main market is for crude honey, top bar
hives are more adequate for most farmers and Districts. It is noted that improved hives are easier to manage by women as compared to
• In general the public sector staff and beekeeper’s knowledge and skills required for the introduction of improved hives were inadequate
and were therefore augmented with i) study tours, ii) in service training with follow up learning sessions in the field, iii) improved access to
knowledge through Woreda Knowledge Centers and FTCs and iv) use of trainers from the apiculture industry, research and consultants.
Since apiculture does not need own land resources, landless youth groups and women can be targeted.
• To improve apiculture management, attention need to be paid to matching bee forage resources with apiculture development, especially
Stimulate cooperatives and private sector partners to develop village
when such forage becomes available as a result of area closures and soil and water conservation.
level honey extracting and/or pressing services once honey volumes
from frame or top bar hives are sufficiently increased • To cope with the demand for colonies, colony transfer technologies (from traditional to improved hives) were introduced together with
colony splitting services by specialized beekeepers.
• The supply of accessories for improved hive management is still at an early stage, but some private sector involvement, supported with
credit, can already be observed in a few locations. This development should be stimulated when there is increased commercialization.
• Commercial marketing of pure honey from frame hives is emerging, but has not yet resulted in a financially sustainable honey extraction
service at village or community level. Some examples (Atsbi, Ada) are emerging of agro industry providing such services through mobile
• While linkages with large scale processors of pure honey were made, farmers, at this stage of commercialization are still selling most of
their honey in the established channels (often at higher prices). With increased commercialization more attention needs to be paid to de-
veloping linkages with this new evolving market, including niche market development.
• Apiculture in general has a positive effect on the environment since it benefits other crops. It is noted however that it is usually negatively
affected by the commercialization of agriculture – through land use changes and use of agro chemicals.
Honey from improved hives is a new product, which requites a new
market, predominantly outside the District. New market channels
have to be developed to link Districts with large urban centers and