“As a young person, I was looking for ways to organize my life, after dropping out of school. One time I attended a skills training and saw the opportunity in bee keeping. I also realized there was ready market. So, I decided to increase my hives and get serious with it.“
The Life as Beekeeper
Who belongs to your family / who is living with you?
I am not yet married, so I still live with my parents. But we are 10 in the family.
How has bee farming changed your life?
Now I don’t ask my parents for money. Secondly, it has kept me busy. When I am not doing other things like digging, I will be in my small apiary looking after the bees – cleaning the grass around etc. Thirdly, I am now known around here as a bee keeper. That’s how bee keeping has changed my life.
What does being a bee farmer mean to you?
To me it means coming independent, because now I realize it is profitable and therefore I can get money out it. This money will help me get whatever I need in my life.
What is the most important thing in your life?
For me, the most important thing in my life is to be a farmer. But most importantly to be a bee farmer. These days there are very few opportunities of getting money. So now, if our honey is going to go abroad, it means we shall get good money. Now I think I have to grow this bee keeping business so I can live a better life.
What would you like to change in your life?
The way I live my life in the community – I want to live like someone who understands. Secondly, I want to change my economic life. I would like to scale up my investment in bee keeping so I can increase my income and live a better economic life. I don’t want to depend on someone.
What are your biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?
As a peasant farmer we depend on farming activities. So, the biggest challenge is that we have very small piece of land. And then the income sources are seasonal. This is challenging to me. I would like to produce many things, but now I can’t because there is no land. Secondly, weather patterns have changed. This often affects agricultural outputs, and that affects your small income.
For me, the solution is really to find money and buy land somewhere to scale up my agricultural enterprises, like this bee keeping. I also need more knowledge to plan accordingly. Now that I have got some little job to do, I will need somebody to keep my other agricultural activities going, so I will need extra labour.
What do you do to enjoy yourself?
Ahhhhh…… well I don’t think I have what to enjoy yet. To live a better life and enjoy something, I need to work hard to achieve my dreams. To live a good life, I also need to respect myself and my elders so I can grow as a good citizen. I also need to plan my life because without plan you can’t do anything good. I think I will enjoy myself when I have money.
What would you do if you had one year
If I got one year off, I would just plan to go and do my own things. To stay one year without doing anything would also give me time to network with others because when you are busy, you don’t get that opportunity to interact with people. So, I would take that opportunity to get to know more people.