Beekeeping Integration into Crop Farming (Green Honey)

Sustainable integration of beekeeping into crop farming to increase yield, reduce chemical usage, protect the ecosystem and consumer health.

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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

Ibrahim Hamidu

Initiative's representative date of birth

30/05/1994

Initiative's representative gender

  • Man

Headquarters location: country

  • Ghana

Headquarters location: city

Kumasi - Ashanti Region (Ghana)

Where are you making a difference?

Jaman North District, Jaman South District (Bono Region - Ghana)

Date Started

25/01/2018

Project Stage

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working toward the next level of expansion)

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

  • €10k - €50k

Organization Type

  • For-profit

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.

High poverty rate among farmers who feed the nation and contribute to the development and economy was the problem we (founders) wanted to solve. The high poverty rate was a collection of barren lands from chemical use which has killed the micro organisation, low crop yield from destruction of pollinators, low prices of farm products in the market due to its low quality. Overtime, farming has contributed to environmental destruction as against feeding the population. Adding value/local industrialization was the proposed solution but upon testing it, was not sustainable and adoption rate was very low. It also did not solve the environmental destruction need. Integration of beekeeping into crop farming was the most adopted and sustainable.

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

Low crop yield, excessive chemical usage on farms that destroys the ecosystem (flora and fauna) and consumer health. The chemicals contaminate the soil, water,air and vegetation affecting lives in the air (birds),land (micro-organisms) and water bodies. The washed chemicals during rainy season leads to a chain of contamination and destruction of various forms of lives. This leads to barren land that is unable to support plant growth, high poverty rate due to low harvest and low product price.

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

The team engages and sustainably train farmers to integrate beekeeping into crop farming to increase yield through pollination services, reduce chemical use on farms protecting animal and human health (lives). We also purchase various lands in different locations, install beehives to pollinate various vegetation to enhance biodiversity. The bee products are harvested, packaged, sold and used in expand the operation and impact. Farmers who cannot afford to construct their hives are given the beekeeping inputs. This is done through partnerships with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in the country, and the various assigned heads of the Farm Based Organizations the farmers are part of. The beekeeping integration also limits the adoption of bush burning by farmers during the dry season in clearing the land in order to protect the bees which they are trained to understand their direct relevance to their farms. The high yield and bee products sales provides high economic benefit to the farmers and also the environment is protected through the bee and other pollinators activity enhance due to reduction or elimination of chemical use on farms. Consumer health is protected.

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

Currently we are training and enabling farmers to integrate permanently beekeeping into their crop farming. Bees are known to be natural pollinators and beekeeping an ancient activity. The beekeeping integration into crop farming were not enhance due to the misconception or fear of bees attacks. Bees products are harvested mainly in the wild and the surrounding forest are burnt down to harvest the products. The integration of the top bar hives and recently introducing the Langstroth hives has made the entire integration environmentally, socially and economically viable. The team is developing a technology to map all location (farms, backyard, forest) with the installed hives to measure the impact of the pollination and preserving activity

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

The team has collaborated with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, in identifying various farmers, putting them into group and registering them under various Farm Based Organization. The team has also worked with the various heads of Farm Based Organizations in the distribution of the beekeeping inputs and also training. The team seeks to work with animal scientist to study the bee species and get less aggressive bee colonies to help scale the technology to all locations including rural-urban and urban areas. We seek to also work with mapping organizations to map all installed hives sites across the country to measure the impact of the activity and to sustain its scalability.

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?

The project has so far engaged more than 160 farmers who have integrated beekeeping into their crop farms in two districts (Jaman North and Jaman South Districts) in Ghana. There has been tremendous decrease in the use of chemicals on farms which has been achieved through training and supervision. The number of installed/increased in hives is directly proportional to the reduction of pesticides on the farms. This indicator has shown that farmers reduce the pesticides use to prevent the bees from evacuation their colonies. The increase in Number of farmers who integrate beekeeping into their crop farming is directly proportional to the chemical and bush fires reduction. The introduction of the mapping technology will help measure more accurately the impact of the overall integration.

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

The main strategies to enhance scalability includes; 1. Purchase of various land in various location for hives installation 2. Construction and distribution of more beekeeping inputs to farmers 3. Construction of centralized bee products processing facility to optimize bees products harvest and purchase/sale 4. Mapping and database technology to accurately map, measure and store relevant decisive information to measure, analyse, implement and optimize our activities. 5. Regular training of farmers/beekeepers on best practices.

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

The farmers who integrate beekeeping into the crop farming achieve increase crop yield, alternative source of income through bee product sales, and saves expenses through the elimination of farm chemicals cost. Various consumer health are protected. This includes the ruminants, birds and humans. The ecosystem is protected and biodiversity is enhanced. The livelihood of people is improved due to less health implication from chemical consumption and much savings from medical bills. Farmers are able to use the additional income source to cater for the needs of their family including education. There is also reduction in immediate post harvest losses due to the reduction in chemical use.

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?

The team provides the beekeeping inputs to the farmers and the bee products are shared after harvest in accordance with signed agreement.The farmer can choose to sell their portion of the bee products to the team. The products are processed, packaged and sold to fund the operations and expansion of the project.The income generated is used to cater for operational expenses and used in construction more beekeeping inputs (hives, bee suit. hive and processing tool) . The shared processing facility will also charge the farmers to process and safely store the bee products until the farmer requires or is ready to sell it. The processing facility will be wholly implemented after the large scale adoption of the system and modern Langstroth hies.

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 team comprises of Ibrahim Hamidu (the Chief Executive Office), Abdul Majid Issah Malori (Operation Manager), Daniel Oduro Nyarko ( Marketing and Sales Manager), John Doe (Project Supervisor), Simon Mensah (Farms Manager). There current board of directors constitute the shareholders of the business who are Ibrahim Hamidu, Abdul Majid Issah Malori, and Daniel Oduro Nyarko.

11. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Word of mouth

Evaluation results

30 evaluations so far

1. 1) OVERALL EVALUATION

Yes, absolutely! - 55.2%

Yes/maybe - 31%

Maybe - 10.3%

Maybe/no - 3.4%

No - 0%

2. 2) CONNECTION TO BIODIVERSITY

5 —Absolutely! It’s crystal clear how the solution is directly contributing to preserving and/or restoring biodiversity. - 25%

4—Yes, it establishes a clear connection to biodiversity. - 53.6%

3—Somewhat, the entry speaks to biodiversity but the direct impact is not well established and/or it is focused on a single species without considering its impact on the broader ecosystem - 17.9%

2—Not really, the connection to biodiversity is weak - 3.6%

1—No. The entry does not reference the solution’s impact on biodiversity. - 0%

3. 3) Is this entry IMPACTFUL?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 28.6%

4- Yes, I think so. - 57.1%

3- Maybe. - 7.1%

2- Probably not. - 7.1%

1- No. - 0%

4. 4) Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 22.2%

4- Yes, I think so. - 40.7%

3- Maybe. - 22.2%

2- Probably not. - 14.8%

1- No. - 0%

5. 5) Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 25.9%

4- Yes, I think so. - 44.4%

3- Maybe. - 22.2%

2- Probably not. - 7.4%

1- No. - 0%

6. 6) Is this entry ACTIVATING CHANGEMAKING?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 33.3%

4- Yes, I think so. - 40.7%

3- Maybe. - 22.2%

2- Probably not. - 3.7%

1- No. - 0%

7. 7) Does this entry value COLLABORATION WITH OTHER STAKEHOLDERS in its approach?

5- Yes, absolutely! - 37%

4- Yes, I think ko. - 48.1%

3- Maybe. - 14.8%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

8. 8) FEEDBACK – Highlights

INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful new solutions - 73.3%

IMPACT: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) and you have a plan for measuring impact - 80%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: You have a thoughtful plan for growth and your founding team has a strong combination of leadership and knowledge-based skills - 53.3%

VIABIBLITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work from a financial perspective in the present and future - 100%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You value thinking around how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 80%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: You have a clearly defined plan on how to maximize shared value across multiple sectors and stakeholders - 93.3%

WRITING STYLE: Your writing style is concise, descriptive, clear, and specific - 20%

Other option - 6.7%

9. 9) FEEDBACK - Areas for Improvement

INNOVATION: Be more specific in your description of the research you have done into the past solutions to this problem and focus on how your solution is unique and innovative - 100%

IMPACT: Provide specific instances of your social impact and how you plan to measure impact – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, products and programming, and provide evidence of (or plan for) how to measure impact - 83.3%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: Your plan for growing the organization can benefit from more specifics. How can you round out the various skills of your current leadership team to make the project a long-term success? - 83.3%

VIABILITY: Make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 66.7%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: your plan can benefit from more thought on how to create value for all stakeholders, not just immediate beneficiaries - 66.7%

WRITING STYLE: Try to be more concise, descriptive, clear, and specific. Avoid jargon. - 58.3%

Nothing – I thought everything was great! - 8.3%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: Try to provide more insights into how you are activating changemakers and empowering them to innovate through your product or programming - 16.7%

Other option - 0%

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Photo of Sebastião Alves

We all know the importance of insects for agriculture and the stability of productive systems. Your initiative is very important for the preservation of these organisms, without which, humanity cannot survive. In the northeast of Brazil, which is a dry region, very similar things happen. I congratulate you and your team for the initiative and innovation to provide small resources to ensure quality beekeeping and improve people's lives. If you want to exchange some information that may be useful for our regions, I am at your disposal.

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