Nyuki Hubs Kenya Limited, a social enterprise based in Nairobi is looking for more beekeepers in the country to rear the beneficial insects and supply the firm with honey to meet a monthly 50 tonnes market demand from 28 tonnes which the company is able to achieve currently.
The enterprise which was started last year January is currently working with groups of farmers in Tharaka Nithi County (27 groups), Makueni County (24 groups), Taita Taveta and Narok counties.
“There is an increasing demand for honey in our local markets. In Makueni, for example, the farmer groups at the moment are able to produce 2.2 tonnes per month against 6.8 tonnes of market demand. This is why we need more farmers to work with us to meet the target and grow their income,” said Erastus Munywoki, an officer in charge of Tharaka Nithi Office.
In this, the enterprise is working with a Christian aid organization to reach more farmers and market for their produce which includes honey, wax among others.
According to Munywoki, all a farmer needs is the will to venture into beekeeping and create a conducive environment for the insects before sourcing for beekeeping equipment.
“Because bees love flowers, the environment around their ‘home’ should be of flowering plants where they can find pollen and nectar as food for the entire colony. They are also irritated by chemicals used on most crops while predators scare them away hence farmers must ensure the surrounding is conducive for their (the insects’) stay.”
Nyuki Hubs which buys the entire honeycombs from farmers at Sh300 per kilo also cater to transport. In this case, farmers are supposed to inform or notify the company once the combs are mature for harvest.
According to Munywoki, a bee comb can generate between 700g and 1kg of honey which the company sells to both bulk buyers and individual consumers.
For interested farmers who might not have the financial might to buy beekeeping equipment to start the venture, the firm has a leasing model whereby the equipments are given to farmers on loan which they are expected to repay as per their harvests.
“We enter into agreements with such farmers on how many kilos of honey they will be giving us per season from their total harvests making it easier for them as we do not take everything. The remaining kilos we buy from them depending on the market price at the moment,” said Munywoki.
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The company which is now set to open other branches in Samburu and Western Kenya Region also sells beehives at Sh7,000, suit at Sh4,900, smoking gun at Sh4,000, and bee colonies at Sh3,000 per colony among others.
In addition to providing a market for the farmers, the company also trains farmers for free on best beekeeping practices.
Munywoki can be reached on +254703685898