NBAG concludes week-long training on beekeeping for 30 participants

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By Olimatou Coker

National Beekeepers’ Association the Gambia (NBAG) has recently concluded a week-long training on beekeeping for 30 participants from three different regions in the country; NBR, CRR, and LRR.

The ceremony was held at the beekeeping center in Brikama Nyambai forest.

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The training was funded by ITC/UNDP and objective of is to reduce the economic and social vulnerability of the poor and marginalized populations affected by Covid-19 in wildlife protected areas.

Speaking at the ceremony, Jerro Maane, technical advisor of NBAG, said the training recruited 30 women and youth beekeeping farmers selected by their respective VDCs from 5 communities in NBR, one community in LRR, and 2 communities in CRR north.

“The advent of climate change worsened by Covid-19 pandemic ended crop farming less attractive. Beekeeping, a non-cropping activity would serve as a suitable alternative to transform the livelihood of small-scale rural households. The advantages of beekeeping which makes it fit well in the farmers livelihoods are, operations involved in beekeeping are done when other farming activities are not taking place and beekeeping does not compete with crops for land”.

Maane added that despite this heavy investment in the beekeeping sub-sector, sustainability was observed as an inherent problem emanating either from poor performance contracts or lack of interest in the trade by those who benefited from the training package.

To mitigate against this inherent problem characterized by the beekeeping sector, the ITC/UNDP building resilience of communities project made a paradigm shift by including a financial package for NBAG to further supervise and monitor hive performance of the trained beekeepers from now to May 2023.

“Kenyan top bar hive that will be given to each trainee is undergoing construction and would be delivered together with the mentioned tools in the coming weeks. Training certificate which will be awarded at the tail end of this function is embossed with the queen bee in the middle and printed on yellow cards color symbolizing pollen, a substance collected from flowers and feed to the young bees. The wide range of materials that would be supplied clearly indicate that heavy investment was injected into each beekeeper. NBAG therefore highly expects each new graduate to be very enthusiastic with beekeeping and not allow the funds to go down the drain”.

Nuha Jammeh, representative, director of parks and wildlife, said they have been training people and giving them the tools but the problem is sustainability.

Jammeh urged the participants to make the best use of the knowledge they gain during these 7 days of intensive training.

Yusupha Keita, of ITC, said the participants should take very good care of their business.

Marie Jobe, a participant, said they have learned a lot during these 7 days and what they learned will really benefit them in the near future.

“We as participants will make best use of what we learned here in our different communities,” she noted.