Youth un(der)employment is a serious issue in Uganda. Half of the population of approx. 45 million is younger than 15 years old. Over a million youth enter the job market yearly. A lack of decent jobs leads to youth un(der)employment. Young women are twice as likely to be unemployed. Underemployment is even a more serious problem for youth. 90% of the population works informally, which often means underemployment, including 54% self-employed entrepreneurs. In agriculture, 41% are engaged in subsistence farming. Many coffee farmers, struggle with market access and are under pressure from global warming. Especially farmers in lower altitude areas are threatened to lose their job.
The consortium of international and national, public and private partners worked together on the improvement of the honey value chain in the past years. Building on 18 years’ experience, this project tackles everything that holds (female) youth back from generating income. This project is part of a long-term strategy and builds upon the foundation of previous projects. We have seen clear results on how beekeeping can be a way out of poverty if certain conditions are met. If training, access to finance and a strong link to the market can be offered to (female) youth we believe that they will be able to make a decent living. We stimulate beekeeping as a business (self-employment) which is reflected in the CFYE approach. Youth and women engaged in this project will be supported to kick start their beekeeping business allowing them to repay the (investment) support they receive from the apiculture development fund (ADF). The repayments to the ADF will be used to support the next generation of (female) youth.
The project Trees x Bees promotes (female) youth employment through ‘beekeeping-as-a-business’ in rural Uganda. We realize decent (self-)employment for 1,500 youth (70% women) and we will continue to create self-employment in beekeeping after the project-period.
Beekeeping is a promising business for youth and women as it is accessible, requiring limited start-up investments, the land is not highly time/physically demanding, and has a high return on investments leading to a decent monthly income (UGX382,566).
1000 youth subsistence (coffee)farmers, under the pressure of global warming, are enabled to diversify their business with tree-planting protecting their (coffee-)crops with shade, tapping the precious source of cross-pollination (yield-increase), and offering sustainable additional income. 588 new youth beekeepers will be linked with these (coffee)farmers to place beehives on their land, which benefits both through land-access and cross-pollination.