Packaging honey earns student more profits

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Miriam Ndunges packaged honey ready for sale. The student cum entrepreneur picks raw honey from her rural home an packages it for sale in Nairobi. Photo courtesy.

Purification and packaging of honey, which she sources from her rural home, is earning a university student cum agripreneur twice gross income in Nairobi.

Miriam Ndunge, a student at the Kenya Methodist University – Nairobi Campus -, delved into the agribusiness to make an extra coin from selling the honey she picks from Kutui and Makueni counties.

“Prices in the rural areas are low because of the higher supply than the demand. I buy the honey from the farmers for sale in Nairobi, where suppliers of pure honey are few. Apart from offering a market to my farmers, I also make something out of the business to support my education,” she said.

The honey she collects is of low quality, with wax, grass and other particles lingering in the liquid.

To tap into the urban market, the agripreneur sieves the honey before packaging it into plastic tins, with the brand name, Savannah Sweetness.

On average, she sells 10kg of packaged honey per day. She sells one kilo at Sh700 after buying it at between Sh250 and Sh300 depending on the farmer and place.

She also has packs into 500g and 300g, which she sells at Sh350 and Sh200 respectively.

 Although the competition from giant retailers like supermarkets still threatens small-scale seller of given products, the student says the growing ‘hatred’ for preserved items in large stores is working for her well.

“Some consumers have complained about preservatives and sugar sediments in supermarket honey. Honey does not require refrigeration or preservatives. Customers who buy my honey always come back,” Ndunge said.

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Apart from natural sugar, honey has several medicinal benefits due to the ingredients collected by bees.

Freshly harvested honey can protect open wounds from bacterial infections, according to the UK’s NHS Choices. At least 13 bacteria in the stomach of bees have been found to destroy their disease causing counterparts after application on wounds.

Honey also used in manufacture of cough syrups and other medicines. It is also a major ingredient in the manufacturing of beauty products.

Apart from selling at her Nairobi market shop, she also distributes to customers upon orders.

Ndunge can be reached on +254725706935.