Ecorys support of programme to train self sufficient beekeepers in Zambia

07 December 2017 3 min. read

To create sustainable work for people living in poverty in Zambia, and to reduce their need for unsustainable economic activity, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland runs the Civil Society Environment Fund, supported by Ecorys and local partner PMTC. In the latest phase of the project, Ecorys is working with the Kaloko Trust to train 640 new beekeepers in the skills needed to become self-sufficient.

Zambia’s economy continues to grow at pace, following growth levels in excess of six percent over the past two decades. However, considerable hardship remains for many of the country’s more than 16.6 million inhabitants. Around 60% live below the poverty line, while an undiversified economy creates considerable commodity price shock risks.

As part of its role in development, the Finnish Government launched the Civil Society Organisations in Environment and Natural Resource Management in Zambia (CSEF) project in 2011. The programme, which was developed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, is operated in part by staff from Dutch/UK-origin consulting firm Ecorys, and Zambian partner PMTC.

The projects supported by the Civil Society Environment Fund are relatively broad, previously including the improvement of funding for CSOs that are able to identify serious environmental violations.

Ecorys support of programme to train self sufficient beekeepers in Zambia

A new project area that the group recently announced aims to create sustainable livelihoods for Zambians, including through the promotion of sustainable organic agriculture, which involves leveraging tools and practices to limit the degradation of soil quality. One of the shoot-off projects involves joint work between the fund and the Kaloko Trust, aimed at "Strengthening Community Response to Poverty Reduction and Environmental Conservation through Beekeeping in Luansobe Area”.

The project will train 640 farmers across the Masaiti, Mpongwe and Kapiri districts in the skills and knowledge required for beekeeping. The stable income, with K10 per kilo of honey produced, is hoped to create a disincentive against deforestation for short-term gain. The work, which is accessible for both men and women in the region, is relatively stable, easy to reproduce. and sustainable in the long-term, generating the additional environmental benefits of pollination in the process.

About the independence developed by the programme, the authors of the report write about the case of one woman in particular. “Through this project and training, Joyce has been able to earn a sustainable income, and in turn, has given herself the opportunity to invest and create further income for her future tailoring plans. Alongside this, she is able to teach and support other community members to aid their own financial growth and provide knowledge on environmental conservation.”