Not only does it make sense it also makes dollars. There is a strong demand for honey in Liberia so when a farmer participates in our beekeeping program they walk away with skill that provides an added income source to support their families with. There is a guaranteed buyer for every drop of honey produced so it’s up to the beekeeper to decide how much honey they need to produce to meet their financial goals. In Liberia 70% of the population earns a living from agriculture—at an average yearly income of $450/year—which makes beekeeping is the ideal complementary skill.
Universal Outreach has been training beekeepers in Liberia since 2012 and the honey industry is starting to flourish. Farmers are hard working people and they are also cautious about what they are willing to invest their precious time and energy in. Word is spreading about the many benefits of keeping bees and we now have a waiting list for communities that want to participate in our beekeeping program.
We know you like a good investment and by contributing to our beekeeping program the social capital you earn will be threefold: financially, you will help others earn a living through the sale of their honey; environmentally, you’ll contribute to healthy bee populations through the bee friendly techniques we teach to the new beekeepers; and socially, you’ll be contributing to the development of an occupation that people take great pride in being a part of. Every person deserves the dignity that comes with providing for their family and beekeeping can make that desire a reality. Learn about opportunities to invest in beekeeping in Liberia.
How it all began
When Universal Outreach started in 2003 we were strictly about two things: kids and education. Over the years we have learned that for families’ to be able to afford to send their kids to school they need financial stability. This is where our interest in beekeeping training started. Five years later and we’re still dedicated to the development of this important income-generating occupation that thrives in rural locations.
Beekeeping is a value added skill that provides families with an extra source of income that seriously impacts their ability to meet their financial needs each year. Beekeeping targets one of Liberia’s lowest income earners —farmers— and its benefits are two-fold. Not only does it increase their income, it also increases the yield of their crops. But farmers aren’t the only people who can beekeep. Landless people can partner with those who have land, communities that have decided to preserve their forest can use beekeeping offset income loss from reduced lumber sales and city folks can beekeep on the family farm.
Over the past five years UOF has helped in the creation of a honey industry that is community driven, sustainable, and economically beneficial to farmers. Since 2011, this program trained hundreds of farmers to become beekeepers. The most common use of the extra money generated by beekeeping activities is said to be: school fees, medical bills for their family, home improvements and reinvesting in hives.
In collaboration with Liberia Beekeepers Association, we have developed a “Training of Trainers” certification program as well as an “Introduction to Beekeeping” program. The introductory program provides a standardized knowledge base for beekeeping that can then be practiced at the participants hives with the help of a Universal Outreach beekeeping extension worker. The Advanced training takes Liberia’s most invested beekeepers, hones their skills and provides a more in-depth knowledge as well as teaching skills that can then be utilized to host workshops for interested individuals, other organizations or farmers in their communities. Thank you for your commitment to this program.
Universal Outreach’s training and extension work program draws from Liberia’s top beekeepers and employs eight people in its beekeeping extension work team. This team travels Liberia to support new beekeepers, collect data, harvest honey for Liberia Pure Honey and share important information related to beekeeping. They are essential to the success of this developing industry. We have recently expanded this program to ensure the success of new beekeepers and the industry as a whole. Thanks to all of you for supporting this expansion! We are accepting donations to fund the extension work team on a continual basis.