Daniel, an early adopter of Universal Outreach's beekeeping training, is now leveraging his 'honey money' to launch new ventures, employ locals, and bolster his family and community. His experience showcases how economic development initiatives can generate a cycle of growth within a region.
Daniel originally started beekeeping in 2004 then in 2012 attended UOF's Master Beekeeper Training Program. Initially, he had two beehives and produced just seven gallons of honey in his first harvest.
In 2011, Daniel started to hear about Universal Outreach's interest in beekeeping. “They started to help us and sponsored some training programs,” he said. Then in 2012, the advanced beekeeping training took place and Daniel started his beekeeper trainer journey alongside 34 other beekeepers. Daniel now travels the country over sharing his acquired expertise and growing the industry. Today, he has over 200 hives and continues to train more people.
Beekeeping, however, is not Daniel’s only successful business: using the money he earned from beekeeping, Daniel has started a palm farm and a sugar cane mill. We travelled to check out his palm farm, but sadly, we couldn't complete the trip after dislodging our Toyota Land Cruiser from the sticky trench they use as a road.
We did make it to Daniel’s palm farm in Garplay, Nimba County, he was immensely proud and happy to show us what he’s already achieved. He showed us around the adoring community, who all seemed delighted by the influx of opportunity Daniel had brought with him.
Daniel has started by selling palm seedlings to other farmers across the country and four of his employees have already cleared plenty of land for the new trees and the flowering plants he plans to plant for his nearby apiary. By planting trees near his bees, Daniel is creating a more sustainable and biodiverse farm.
Daniel also plans to install an on-site palm press for him and other nearby farmers to use to make palm oil and palm kernel oil. With no palm presses in the area, there was a gap in the market that Daniel has identified and plans to fill — to the great pleasure of the other local farmers. This offers a much more accessible and immediate way to press their palm, with no other presses available down this long, bumpy road.
Daniel has also built a new house to host guests and visiting farmers in his community. He beams at the idea of hosting guests from abroad, other beekeepers for training programs, and other farmers with whom he works.
We are so excited to observe Daniel’s growth from a small-scale beekeeper to a business owner and employer of many people in his community and beyond. He has used the money from beekeeping and put it back into the local economy, starting a ripple effect of growth and economic development that we will continue to watch with smiles on our faces.
We are currently working with Daniel to provide a loan so he can overcome some of his transport difficulties. It’s wonderful to see what his energy and motivation can achieve with help from the right training and support; we look forward to supporting him further in his ventures.