Conserve One Conserve All

We train farmers to plant more tree crops, integrate beekeeping to create pollinator habitats and conserve pollinators, promote biodiversity

Photo of Richard Okoe
1 0

Written by

Eligibility Criteria

  • I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Act for Biodiversity Challenge and that I am eligible to apply.
  • I am 18 years old or older.

Initiative's representative name

Richard Okoe

Initiative's representative date of birth

December 23rd , 1963

Initiative's representative gender

  • Man

Headquarters location: country

  • Ghana

Headquarters location: city

Nkoranza, Bono East region

Where are you making a difference?

SAME

Website or social media url(s)

www.natbabeekeepers.com www.facebook/nationalbeekeepersassociation

Date Started

December/2011

Project Stage

  • Scaling (expanding impact to many new places or in many new ways)

Yearly Budget : What is your current yearly budget for the initiative?

  • €250k - €500k

Organization Type

  • Nonprofit/NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

Working as the head of credit of a rural bank in Nkoranza, a farming community in the Bono East region of Ghana, I advanced credit to a group of cashew farmers in the community. They defaulted in the loan repayment because crop yields were poor although they applied all the cultural practices including spraying the trees with insecticides and using weedicides. I researched the cause of the poor cashew yields. I stumbled on a research that confirmed that by integrating 2 bee colonies on an hactre of cashew farm the farmers can double the crop yields and the red ants,Oecophylla spp, can biologically control cashew pests. Then it hit me. We need to conserve the pollinators and avoid using insecticides. I then formed the Association.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

In Ghana most people are ignorant of the role of pollinators. Farmers are recording low crop yields due to the lack of pollinators. Ghana spends billions of dollars importing food. The decline in pollinators is affecting our food security. This is very evident especially in the cocoa sector where farmers are doing hand hand pollination due to the absence of the midges, the natural pollinators of cocoa. I f we do not conserve pollinators food production will be very poor and we cannot survive.

3. Your solution: How are you working to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

We go into the farming communities to educate the farmers about the rolle of pollinators and the need to conserve the. After the education we support them to acquire tree crop seedlings to plant to create pollinator habitat. We train then to avoid using chemicals or any cultural practices that affect the existence of pollinators. We the supply them with beekeeping equipment to keep bees to increase their crop yields and additionally harvest the bee products such as honey and beeswax to sell to make additional income.This economic gain is a great incentive for the farmers to create more pollinator habitats by planting more tree crops. We help the farmers market their honey and beeswax. Additionally we train especially the women and youth to add value to the bee products to produce natural cosmetics, beverages, herbal and medicinal products.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

Our farmers participated in a research conducted on behalf of African Cashew Initiative by Aidoo et al. The farmers confirm the increase in cashew yields as they integrated beekeeping in their cashew farming. We train the farmers to construct basic top bar bee hives using locally available materials for the construction of the hives. Sometimes we use mud or clay with raffia or bamboo. Farmers are now seeing many insects, rodents, and birds on their farmers that previously they were not seeing. Helping the farmers market their bee products and training them to add value to the bee products to produce cosmetics, beverages, and others is appealing to other farmers. Other organizations do not have this holistic approach.

5. Collaboration: How does your initiative seek to bring key players together to preserve biodiversity?

We partenered Aidoo et al. to research into the role of pollinators in cashew yield conducted on behalf of African Cashew Initiative. We are partnering BeesAbroad of the United Kingdom to train our farmers in beekeeping and support with beekeeping equipment. We have received training from PUM Senior Experts of the Netherlands in beekeeping. We collaborate with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in the training of our farmers. We involve the Municipal Assembly in our activities. We engage the Ministry of Environment, Science, and Technology. We always engage the local authorities including chiefs and opinion leaders in our activities.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far — in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

We have trained and supported farmers in more than 30 farming communities in Ghana. We have trained over 500 farmers. Our farmers testify of the immense benefits they are receiving as a result of our program. Our latest training was in the twin villages of Boaben and Fiema in the Nkoranza North district of the Bono East region of Ghana. This training was done with the support of BeesAbroad of the United Kingdom. The villages host the famous monkey sanctuary in Ghana. Farmers in the villages who previously received training from us now testify of the benefits they have received from the conservation program.. Mr Isaac Nyarko proudly shows his newly built concrete house he built solely from proceeds from beekeeping. He is the leader of the Boaben Beekeepers Association. They now tell us the bee population is increasing and their new hives colonize quickly. Mr and Mrs Owusu Sekyerte says with pride how they sponsored their son through university education because of beekeeping.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

As many people embrace the numerous government farming programs many farmers require our services to train them to appreciate the role of pollinators. Our program is needed in every region of Ghana. Over 70% of Ghanaians are into agriculture or agriculture related activities. The pollinator education is need in almost every district in Ghana. Our program can be easily scaled and replicated in any district in Ghana. Our members are ready to go into the farming communities to train other farmers. In the villages of Boaben and Fiema the farmers testify of the increase in bee population due to our program and the increase in their crop yields. They now make more money and living better lives.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for society? Or different stakeholders?

The farmers now gain more income from the increase in crop yields due to the increased pollination and also harvest the bee products such as honey and beeswax to sell. The women add value to the bee products to produce natural cosmetics to sell. The farmers are now earning more money as a result of the pollinator conservation program. They are now building better houses and taking their children to schools even through university.The farmers are living better and eating better meals and wearing better clothing.Some of the farmers now own motorbikes and some own cars. Economically the farmers the farmers are earning more and socially they are living better lives.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

We help the farmers to market especially their bee products such as honey and beeswax, and the value added products such as cosmetics and beverages. We make good margins when we buy the honey and beeswax from the farmers and sell to buyers in the big cities especially in Accra and Kumasi. Currently we are in a process of acquiring a shop in Accra to sell the natural cosmetics. We are also preparing to sell our products online. We also make money by adding margins to the beekeeping equipment we sell to the farmers. Demand for bee products keep growing locally and internationally and as we expand we will be making enough money to sustain our program and be self sufficient.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your current team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

The president and founder of the organization,National Beekeepers Association,is Mr Richard Okoe. He holds a Diploma in Animal Science from the University of Ghana. Trained as a veterinarian, and worked as a banker. Has 20 years experience as a beekeeper. Mr Joshua Antwi is the lead trainer in beekeeping. He holds degree in Agribusiness. Has 5 years experience as beekeeper. Shaida Balogun is the lead cosmetics trainer. Mr Seth Adjei is the Board Chair.He is a banker. Holds a Masters degree

11. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Search engine
  • Email

Find this idea inspiring? Add your own!

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Amparo

What a great joy in my heart to share this to the entire public on how Dr Osato cure me from herpes1&2 with his herbs, I never believe it will work because the doctors keep saying there is no cure but i was desperate and needed to get this thing out of my body. I saw a comment online testifying how Dr Osato cure her from herpes and hpv and i contact Dr Osato and explain my problem to him and he prepare the cure and send it to me through UPS,which i use it just the way He instructed me and thank God today am a beneficiary to these cure. I went to my doctor for checkup after 7days of taking the herbs and i was tested Herpes1&2 negative and my doctor told me that the virus is completely gone from my system. So i will tell you all who is looking for a cure to his/her HIV/AIDS and HERPES that Dr Osato took research before he could finally get the solution to it and a lot of people are benefiting from him right now. He also cure my Uncle and his wife from HPV. Dr Osato heals with natural herbs. Please i urge you to contact him now through his email address: osatoherbalcure@gmail.com or WhatsApp him on +2347051705853. His website is osatoherbalcure.wordpress.com and he is capable of curing HIV/AIDS, HERPES, HPV, HSV1&2, COLD SORE, CANCER of all kind,DIABETES and so many other infections.