Comparative Economic Analysis of Beekeeping Using Traditional and Improved Beehives in the Miombo Woodlands of Tabora and Katavi Regions, Tanzania
The study was carried out in Tabora and Katavi regions in the miombo woodlands of Tanzania. The overall objective of the study was to undertake a comparative economic analysis of beekeeping using improved or traditional beehives. Data were collected from 198 beekeepers that were randomly selected from a sampling frame of 237 beekeepers using a structured questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, analysis of variance (ANOVA) along with budgetary analysis and profitability ratios. The findings revealed that improved beehives were more productive than traditional beehives, although both beekeeping systems were profitable ventures. However, beekeepers who used traditional beehives realized higher net farm incomes than those who used improved beehives. Return on investment was estimated to be 3.7% per shilling for beekeepers using traditional beehives against 1.3, 0.3 and 0.8% for those using Tanzania Top Bar, Box and Longstroth (improved beehives), respectively. The lower gains associated with improved beehives that are more productive than traditional ones, are most likely to be a result of failures within the market system to value and reward quality. Earnings for adopters of these productivity enhancing beehives could increase if new mechanisms that allow fair pricing of high-quality honey extracted from such beehives are instituted in local markets. These endeavours could be pioneered by relevant institution including local government and non-governmental organizations in respective areas.