Bees give group means to support orphans
A community-based organisation in Kwale County has found an innovative way to support orphans and other vulnerable children.
Golini Health Volunteers has been using beekeeping to raise income to support the children since 2005.
Matano Madzo, a member of the group that has 26 individuals, says they ventured into beekeeping to diversify their economy and attain their goals of working with orphans.
The group has nine beehives in Godoni village, having started the project in 2015.
"We had a lot of challenges when starting since we placed the hives close to homesteads and the place was too noisy thus bees kept away.”
In 2017, the group received boost from Base Titanium, which its field officers helped them move the hives to a new location in Godoni village.
"We are receiving additional training from field officers to strengthen and expand knowledge on beekeeping," says Madzo.
So far, they have harvested the honey three times, with each hive producing 15kg.
“We have raked in at least Sh75,000 from the five beehives. We sell a kilo of honey goes for Sh1,000.”
The group hopes to rake in more cash from beeswax, which is used in making candles, soap, and lip balm.
To make the project more sustainable, they have planted sunflower on a quarter acre, with the plant offering the insects nectar.
— Fredrick Fadhili
Farmers in western asked to grow flowers
Farmers in western have been urged to embrace floriculture to boost the economy of the region.
Horticulture Crops Development Authority western manager Florence Khaemba said Kisumu International Airport has opened up opportunities for farmers to promote fresh produce in the region.
She further noted that the region has a high potential to produce summer flowers for the export market.
“Farmers in this region are blessed with good climatic conditions and soils. We are encouraging them to go into summer flowers which mature faster,” said Khaemba.
The summer flowers, she said, can grow in the open field without the need for greenhouses or shade net.
“We had over 75 acres on summer flowers in western initially but they faced challenges in marketing. Very few have remained to export the flowers to the export market,”
Some of the varieties that can grow in the region are Mobydick flower, Ammi flowers, Arabicum, Cubarol and Celosia.
One advantage of the region is the high temperatures that favour fast maturity of the flowers.
“Recently, we planted the Celosia flowers in a demo farm and they are flowering in full bloom now,” said Khaemba.
Farmers are urged to invest in irrigations systems to have continuous supply of water.
“It is essential to have uniform growth of flower stalk. This calls for enough water supply. The longer the flower stalk the better the quality.” For better returns, she urged farmers to plant flowers through the year.
— Elizabeth Ojina