Project Renitantely is working to improve the sustainability and viability of beekeeping as a livelihood amongst rural communities in the Anosy region.
In an area of Madagascar that is primarily dependent on farming and fishing for survival, the unpredictable climate commonly leads to failed harvests or low yields. Compounded by a rapidly expanding population, traditional livelihood activities are increasingly unable to provide sufficient incomes for rural families.
With limited alternatives, communities are forced to use natural resources around them, which leads to overexploitation of resources and loss of biodiversity. Madagascar’s honeybee, Apis mellifera unicolour, is just one of the country’s 150,000 endemic species that is at risk due to this loss of habitat.
It helps me to feed my family after that, to buy medicine if anyone is sick, to buy furniture; these are the things that the income from beekeeping helps me with.Beekeeper from Mahialambo
Working in six rural communities, we use internationally-recognised techniques, to empower men and women with the beekeeping skills they need to increase yields, maintain healthy colonies and strength disease prevention, while also promoting gender equality through running context-sensitive gender workshops.
Beekeeping is an activity that is neither time nor labour intensive and complements existing livelihood activities enabling vulnerable households to supplement their income whilst reducing pressure on natural resources. However, Project Renitantely does not lack obstacles. The destructive varroa mite, a parasite that has wiped out 50% of hives in Europe, was detected in Anosy in February 2016, making the resilience of hives more of a priority than ever. We are now delivering pest-management training to ensure that beekeepers can prevent, identify and treat varroa using techniques that are tailored to the resource-deficient environment of Anosy.
Evan Cornish Foundation, Nando & Elsa Peretti Foundation, WF Southall, Open Gate Trust and private donors.