Bee My Honey

Bee My Honey

Cameroon
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We work with rural farmers to produce high quality bee products for sale in the local and international market. We also provide these farmers with access to education, materials, and tools to help them increase productivity, increase their incomes and break the cycle of poverty.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

At one of the globe - in Cameroon, 70% of employment depends on agriculture - most of this is subsistence agriculture. Meanwhile, world food production will have to increase 50% by 2030 to meet growing demand. What if we could meet in the middle? We could increase global agricultural productivity and at the same time, increase the income of subsistent and mostly rural farmers - ultimately improving their livelihoods/communities.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Bee My Honey is a Bee Farming Cooperative and Farmer Business School. We run a robust training program for farmers. Dubbed the farmers business school, we teach farmers best practices in land use, production and yield management. During their 15 months at the farmers business school, farmers also engage bee farming, a seasonal yet very lucrative industry. Half of the revenue from the bee products goes to a business fund for the farmers which is given to them upon completion of the 15 month program. They also receive a monthly stipend during the training which covers basic needs. Upon completion, each farmer receives their business fund which goes to scaling their agricultural ventures. We then recruit a next cohort of farmers.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

My name is Hilda, I am a rural farmer in Oku, Cameroon. I grow vegetables and sell in the local market. Sometimes yields/sales are so bad, I barely make any money. But my story is changing with the Bee My Honey Farmers Cooperative. I engage in bee farming and also go to the Farmers Business School. This enables me to earn an income, whilst learning skills and techniques that will enable me to increase my income as a farmer. One of the ways I see this happening is by investing in proper storage facilities, local/urban distribution channels and better farming/storage techniques with a focus on producing high quality vegetables and fruits. Imagine 100 farmers like Hilda who are impacted by Bee My Honey! Imagine 1000!
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Under The Mango Tree and Allotey Honey Bee Farms We differ from these organizations on 3 key points: - We focus on local manufacture of inputs: bee boxes, swarm bags and bee veils to increase employment generation. - We provide farmers with a seasonal source of income via bee farming whilst training them on how to increase incomes and break the cycle of poverty. - Unlike conventional farmer training programs, farmers in our program receive stipends from revenues of honey which enables them to cover basic costs and take care of their families.
About You
About You
First Name

Madelle

Last Name

Kangha

About Your Project
Organization Name
Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact
How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

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Your Solution
Founding Story: Share a story about the “Aha!” moment that led you to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

Two years ago, I bought a 0.1 litre of honey in the US for 8 dollars from my local supermarket and I wondered why it cost so much for such a high nutrient food?

In contrast as on the other side of the world, during one of my many visits back home to Cameroon, I bought 1 litre of honey for 5 dollars.

This gave me an idea - why not produce honey in Cameroon and sell locally and abroad?

But why stop at honey, why not diversify into other bee products.

And what if ultimately, we could empower rural farmers to break the cycle of poverty by fusing a traditional bee farming cooperative model with a training program?

And that's how Bee My Honey was born.

Select Sector(s): To which of Unilever's categories of sustainability does your solution apply?

Nutrition, Sustainable Agriculture, Smallholder Farmers.

Measurable Impact
Audience: Who have you identified as your customers/recipients and why? How will you get your solution to them or engage them in your initiative?

From our research, rural farmers are keen to improve production with the ultimate goal of raising their incomes.

Strategically we are targeting airline companies such as CAMAIR-CO, 3-5 star hotels and resorts. We will offer them high quality natural honey and other bee products at discount prices. In addition, we will also market to them that by buying our product, they are supporting a local business, creating jobs and also promoting a locally branded product, thereby promoting eco-tourism.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date and expected impact in the future?

Number of farmers reached through our cooperative:
Year 1 – 100 farmers Year 2 – 300 farmers Year 3 – 500 farmers Year 4 – 700 farmers Year 5- 1000 farmers Thus a total of 2600 farmers by year 5.

The immediate impact for these 2600 farmers is as follows:
- By promoting low-cost bee keeping among rural farmers & creating markets for their honey, we increase farming incomes. We therefore improve the livelihoods of rural farmers
- Through our rigorous Farmers Business School, we work with farmers to increase productivity
- 60 % of farmers are women and so our program ultimately empowers these women

Environmentally, we conserve the ecosystem:
- Bees are crucial to agriculture; four out of five foods depend on bees for pollination.
- We preserve bee colonies in a cycle that benefits bees, humans and the soil.

In the long term, we create sustainable communities.

Growth, Finance & Leadership
Scaling the Solution: How do you intend to scale your activities over the next two years (e.g., reach new markets, diversify solutions, etc.)? What will make this possible?

From working with 100 farmers in year one, we will increase that number threefold to 300 by year 2.

We will also expand from selling primarily honey in year 1 to diversifying to other bee products such as propolis and value added products like lip balms, body creams, and high end candles from beeswax.

We will focus on the local market in year 1 and sell our honey through ANCO, an NGO with the trademark Cameroon Highlands Honey.

In year 2, our goal will be to tap into the international market for bee products, using the African food distributor Jkub Llc.

Furthermore, after several initial meetings with the Minister of Agriculture, we are currently exploring a partnership with the government to scale our model nationally.

Financial Sustainability: What is your business model to ensure financial sustainability?

Number of Beehives - Year 1 - 20, Year 2 - 40 (1 beehive produces approx 80 litres of honey a year)

Number of litres of honey produced - Year 1 - 1600, Year 2 - 3200

Projected Income - Year 1 – 8000USD, Year 2 – 16000USD (Assumes retail price of 5USD)
(Revenue from honey only)

Part of the revenue generated will be reinvested in the Farmers Business School program and the other part will go towards operations and supply chain costs.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

I am the Founder of Youths4Change http://youths4change.org/, a youth led organization which mentors and empowers young people of all abilities in Cameroon. It was inspired by my blog which motivates young people to take positive social action and has now reached youths in over 30 countries and 6 continents.

Thanks to our success, we are currently being solicited for a partnership with Do Something US, to become an international affiliate.

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