Many mothers in Benue communities are known to work and provide for the family, the work can be dangerous as a result of insecurities encountered on their way to farms and even on the farm – these women barely make enough to feed their family. Katherine is a mother of three children who lives in Adatsav village in Benue state – a predominantly agrarian community, the majority of the people concentrate on farming crops such as; cassava, yams, sesame seed, maize, and groundnuts. Katherine, on the other hand, combines both farming and fish selling.
In 2018, Katherine and more than 100 women in some selected communities in Benue state were empowered with beehives farming initiatives through FLEP’s Honey Project, a resilient livelihood enterprise that fits in well with small scale farmers – beehives farming contributes to the livelihood security of Katherine and other women.
At the beginning of the project, Kathrine was not so sure how she would benefit from keeping bees but after her harvest of honey, she received payments from two harvest circle. The last payment she received for the honey harvested from 3 beehives was four thousand, five hundred and seventy naira (N4,570/ $13). She said ‘it felt like a gift from the hive because I didn’t do much yet I got this huge payment’. Katherine has come to discover that beekeeping is a lucrative trade and a flexible activity.
Together with her husband, Kathrine contributed money and bought an herbicide spraying machine, which is a good asset that almost everyone needs to be able to clear their farmlands for the new farming season. The spraying machine is a new source of income for the family along with her trade and the beehives. The beehives on her farm provide a complimentary service of cultivated crop and flowery plant pollination, which helps to maintain the ecosystem; by this Katherine can produce more with the same or less amount of agricultural inputs.