Beekeeping can be a lucrative business for small-scale farmers, but when done successfully, it is said to be one of the most important economic activities and a source for sustenance for many farmers in Africa and Uganda in particular. Sam Aderubo, the head of planning and operations at Honey Pride Arua (U) Ltd, couldn’t agree less.
Founded in September 2015, Honey Pride Arua specialises in the Apiculture value chain with honey, bee propolis and bees wax processing. The enterprise also provides capacity building in terms of skills training as well as supply of bee keeping inputs as part of their additional activities.
According to Aderubo, Honey Pride Arua started as a personal project but the returns he got gave him the picture that if done on a larger scale, it could bring higher returns. To grow the business, Aderubo started to think of capitalising on the West Nile, which was a big honey selling community at the time.
He also drew his inspiration to start Honey Pride Arua from the realisation of the many challenges that bee keepers face and was moved to start a business that is impact-driven.
“I wanted to help provide a solution to the poor communities, one that has an impact on farmers,” he said.
He finds great joy in the enterprise’s impact created on the beehive farmers who were in dire need expanding the market. The enterprise has through the years provided rural farmers with skills in modern bee keeping, and helped build their capacity in terms of providing improved equipment as well as financial inclusion.
Aderubo adds that since starting Honey Pride Arua six years ago, the brand has grown to processing and packing high quality honey and other beehive products such as bee wax, bee propolis on top of ensuring protection and conservation of the environment and providing a ready market to the rural bee keepers, which has improved farmers’ livelihoods in the area.
Aderubo explains how the enterprise is working towards addressing the growing challenge of global warming: “Bee keeping survives on forest cover because that is where they get their forage, our enterprise generally encourages protection and conservation of the environment including water sources. We also have deliberate interventions such as planting of special forages that boost honey production.”
Besides environmental conservation, bee keeping plays a big social role in providing employment opportunities along the value chain and providing market to the rural farmers.
With improved management, better employee working conditions and as an innovative and a one-stop knowledge center for apiculture, Aderubo envisions Honey Pride Arua as a very strong local brand competing internationally in the next 5 years.
The enterprise lead is grateful for the UGEFA Catalyser programme that he believes had a tremendous impact on their business activities. "In all aspects of business i.e., business planning, management, sales and marketing, impact assessment etc., we have benefited greatly from the Catalyser programme and we want to say, thank you to UGEFA.”