Project Description

The project has two components:-

  • Honey production
  • Honey Refining – Kitui Honey Refinery (Processing and marketing)

Honey production

Honey production is a major occupation in the Arid and Semi- Arid Lands (ASAL). About three quarters of TARDA’s area of jurisdiction in the Tana and Athi River Basins fall within the ASAL region.

This initiative aims to promote commercial beekeeping amongst rural communities by introducing smallholder farmers and youth to the Langstroth beehives. The beekeepers will be trained in organization and management skills, production and basic records keeping and farm economics. The training is intended to empower the beekeepers to overcome many of the obstacles they face on Apiary establishment, maintenance and honey harvesting, processing and marketing.

Project Current Status

  • In collaboration with field staff from the Ministry of Livestock Development, TARDA is involved in promotion of bee keeping activities in the region.
  • Honey Refinery activities have been suspended to pave way for the KMTC Kitui Campus. The Kitui DDC allocated TARDA some 5 acres to relocate the facility within the Kitui municipality
  • Following the directive to relocate the facility was valued at a value of Kshs 1.975m by the Ministry of Public Works officials.

Kitui Honey Refinery (Processing and marketing)

The Kitui Honey refinery was located within the Ministry of Agriculture’s Better Living Institute which was later converted to KMTC in 2003.

The program aims at providing the beekeepers with a guaranteed year-round market for their honey at reasonable prices. To package the honey, the project will utilize the existing TARDA’s installed 30 MT capacity at Kitui Honey Refinery

Future plans aim at packaging the honey in small, medium, large and exports’ packs.

Objectives

  • Enhance environmental conservation of the project area by the local communities within TARDA region
  • Enhanced food security
  • Income and generation of wealth as part of the Vision 2030
  • Employment and job creation for the local communities
  • Uplifted standard of living for communities in the areas
  • To widen the economic base of the communities by facilitating their access to micro-credit through the formation of community groups.
  • To increase the community’s bargaining power and strengthen their linkages with potential markets to improve the marketing of honey and other beekeeping products in the country.

Challenges

  • Lack of funds to relocate to the new site
  • Competition for semi refined honey from Middle men