Bee keeping farmers in Traditional Authority Lukwa in Kasungu have commended Katope Honey Processing Factory in the area for improving their livelihoods.
The small holder farmers, surrounding Kasungu National Park, said in an interview on Thursday the factory, opened in December 2019, has encouraged them to turn to bee-keeping instead of plundering national park resources for livelihood.
A committee member from Katope Bee Keeping Cooperative, Elizabeth Nyirenda told Malawi News Agency (Mana) they now value bee-keeping as business because they make more profits.
“We are happy to see the factory working because it has really improved quality of our honey and we make more profits,” said Nyirenda.
Catholic Development Commission (CADECOM) equipped the farmers with skills on honey processing business.
CADECOM Project Coordinator for Kasungu, Charles Matewere said the cooperative now has the capacity to do better and help in boosting the country’s economy.
“Now that the cooperative is officially registered with the Registrar of Cooperatives, the future is bright and their scope has been widened beyond honey processing.
“The cooperative has been registered as Producers’ and Marketing Cooperative. This enables the cooperative to produce other profitable value chains like soya beans and sun floor,” Matewere said.
The project was funded by the Embassy of Japan to Malawi through the embassy’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) Financing Facility to the tune of about $64, 243 (K47 million).
The money was utilised for construction of the factory structure, provision of honey production and processing equipment and audit services.