Challenges and opportunities of beekeeping in Mvomero district, Morogoro region, Tanzania
Angela Mwakatobe, Janemary Ntalwila, Neciphor Lesio, Cecilia Leweri, Leonard Haule and Neema Kilimba
Beekeeping is one of the economic activities which play a valuable part in rural livelihoods in many developing countries. In Tanzania, beekeeping contributes to about 33% of household income of the communities living in the Miombo woodlands. This study aimed at exploring the challenges and opportunities of beekeeping industry in Mvomero District. We used focus group discussion, household questionnaire survey and key informant interviews to collect information on beekeeping potentials, challenges hindering local communities to participate in beekeeping and opportunities for rural communities’ engagement in beekeeping industry. Income generation is the major reasons for practising beekeeping activities, which ranked number two after agriculture regarding major sources of income. Inadequate and poor quality of equipment and lack of appropriate skills are the main factors hindering local communities in beekeeping activities. Results also indicated that there are opportunities for local communities to participate in the activity due to presence of beekeeping groups, community banks and forest reserves. For increased participation of local communities, the study recommend for promotion, strengthening and empowerment of beekeeping groups and associations in production and marketing of bee product. Rural communities can be assisted to access credit facilities, development partners’ support and training. Also, in order to increase income accrued from beekeeping industry, promotion and support on training on production of other bee products and processing of secondary bee products to local communities vital. Also, for improvement of quality control and markets of bee products establishing of honey collection points or centers are highly recommended. The centers will provide important post-harvest activities including proper honey processing, packaging and selling of bee products. Local communities can learn and acquire knowledge and skills for proper beekeeping from these centers. In addition, all stakeholders in beekeeping should promote and support beekeeping awareness campaigns for improvement due to contributions of beekeeping to livelihood and environmental conservation.