Participatory Technology and Constraints Assessment to Improve the Livelihood of Beekeepers in Tigray Region, northern Ethiopia
AbstractBeekeeping is a long-standing practice in the rural communities of Ethiopia and appears as ancient history of the country. A three–part assessment and diagnostic study (Livelihood systems assessment, integrated honeybee management needs assessment and diagnostic survey) was undertaken from 2006-2008 in Tigray, Ethiopia to identify market and technological constraints facing the honey sub sector and asses bee pests and the control measures taken. Information was gathered through PRA, interview with key informants and integrated honeybee management diagnostic survey in the rural areas. The assessment and diagnostic activities were undertaken in six zones (Western, North western, Central, Eastern, Southern and Southeastern zones of the region). One hundred nineteen beekeepers were randomly selected. Information on the adoption of new technology, availability of honeybee pests, average annual harvest of honey, honeybee pest controlling measures, market and technological constraints etc. were sought from the beekeepers. Honey yield was markedly different for the traditional and modern hives. On average, it was about 8-15 kg/hive and 20-30 kg/hive from the traditional and modern hives respectively. Lack of adequate bee forages, poor market, lack of trained development agents, inadequate government support, bee pests and inadequate training are mainly the problems facing the honey sub sector in the region. There are different kinds of bee pests and predators. Honey is harvested twice a year. From this study it was realized that almost all beekeeping practices are traditional except little intervention with improved beekeeping practices. Key words: Beekeeping, Bee management, Beehive, Tigray.
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