01. August 2014
Seven weeks – that’s all it took for the first honey to be harvested. The new beehive project of the international Christian aid organization Shelter Now in Afghanistan is really buzzing. At the start of June, ten families were each given two bee colonies. That was after receiving instruction on how to keep bees and produce honey. Now each family has harvested an average of eight kilos (17.5 lbs) of honey, three quarters of which they’ve sold to the public.
“Honey is extremely popular in Afghanistan and as a result it’s expensive”, says Shelter Now Director Udo Stolte. “Honey farmers can get really good prices.” Shelter Now chose poorer families from the Paghman district, west of the capital Kabul, to take part in the project. “They have a little land on which they can grow a few vegetables for their own consumption,” says Stolte, “but it’s nowhere near enough to provide for the family financially.”
The families of the beekeepers – around 100 people in total – are benefiting from the project. It’s particularly good for the children. The beekeepers each keep around a quarter of the honey for themselves as a nutritious supplement to their diet, particularly for the children. Profits from the sale of the remaining honey then go to pay for school materials and equipment for the children and school uniforms.
In addition to the two beehives, the new beekeepers were also given equipment to allow them to harvest the honey. A local man who was already a successful beekeeper provided instruction to the families and now drops in each week to check on the progress of the project. The group is expecting another harvest of honey this summer before the bees are then brought to the area of Jalalabad for the winter, which is at a lower altitude so the bees will be able to find enough flowering plants to survive the winter without needing to be fed with an expensive sugar solution.
The area around Paghman is considered good for keeping bees. Because of the favorable climate it’s home to numerous fruit plantations and there are also many wild flowers that serve as sources of nectar for the bees. Another positive side-effect is that the fruit farmers in the area that are also sponsored by Shelter Now can hope for a better harvest thanks to the additional bees. Because of the favorable conditions, the bees are likely to reproduce well. After one year the beekeepers will each give one beehive back to Shelter Now, to be passed on to new candidates who can then also benefit from the project.
Braunschweig, 28 July 2014
Shelter Now is an international relief organisation with its co-ordination office in Germany. Since 1983 registered and working in Pakistan, and since 1988 in Afghanistan. Shelter Now finances its projects mainly by private donations. The efficiant and project-focussed use of funds is certified by the German Central Insitute for Social Issues and has received the Seal of Approval.
Shelter Now Germany e.V., Waisenhausdamm 4, 38100 Braunschweig, Phone: +49 531 885395-7, Fax: +49 531 885395-9, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.shelter.de
The King's Centre, Wellesley Street, King's Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 1QD
Phone: +44-15 53-76 63 33
E-Mail: p.randerson@(--remove this spamprotection--)shelter-now.org
Kontonummer 2523058, Norddeutsche Landesbank, BLZ 250 500 00