Twenty-one-year-old Waïba Agoro learned the basics of hive management and collecting honey and beeswax through her family’s beekeeping business. In her small farming community, Affem-Boussou, located in Togo’s Central Region, the income she generates from selling honey and beeswax provides a steady stream of income, especially in the dry season when money can be hard to come by.
Waïba is one of over 4,000 beekeepers across Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Togo who have been trained as part of Koster Keunen West Africa’s (Koster Keunen) partnership with the USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment Hub. Through this program, Koster Keunen is organizing smallholder beekeepers and providing training and equipment to help them improve the quality of their honey and beeswax. With these enhanced techniques, beekeepers like Waïba are able to scale their sales.
During her training, Waïba learned best practices for hive installation, monitoring, and harvest. With these new techniques under her belt, she hopes to improve her ability to attract natural bee colonies, grow her hive populations, and optimize her honey and beeswax yields.
Waïba is already reaping the rewards: In 2020, she harvested 41 kilograms of honey and 5 kilograms of beeswax with eight hives. Following the training, she improved her yield to 100 kilograms of honey and 10 kilograms of beeswax and also earned a quality bonus. In the future, Waïba hopes to expand to 15 more hives and earn additional income with better practices learned through her training and market linkage by Koster Keunen and the USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment Hub.