Mthandiza Village Farmers Association (MVFA) in Dedza district is making strides in its quest to curb poverty through bee-farming.
With support from United Purpose (UP), MVFA embarked on bee-farming in early 2020 with an aim of fighting poverty among families in Mthandiza Village.
Addressing the media recently, the group’s chairperson Village Head Chande said their objective is improving households as well as lives of other disadvantaged individuals in the area.
“The little we get from the sales of our harvest have been set to help struggling households, helping school-going orphans and some is given to people living with HIV and Aids, to improve their well-being,” said the village head.
Although the group is making strides in alleviating poverty, the village head sounded SOS as their contract with UP is ending in December 2021. He has since appealed to like-minded organisations to come forth and continue what UP started.
“As a group, we wish we could have more beehives. From what I have said is our target area, you could see that it is very wide yet the harvest can only satisfy a fraction. We, therefore, ask well wishers to help us grow by providing capacity-building in bee-farming,” Chande explained.
Group member Elefat Kathewera agreed with Chande, saying the association lacks modern equipment and skills for them to harvest more honey.
“We struggle a lot whenever we come here to take care of the bees and during harnessing as we only have two protective clothes such that we are subjected to bee bites. This further reduces our already insufficient harvest as sometimes we run away from the bites leaving the honey un-harvested. This is making our lives hard,” he lamented.
Kathewera further appealed for technical expert assistance from like-minded institutions and marketing opportunities.
The association, which has about 50 members, started operating in 2017.