This beekeeping project is intended to generate household income and improve the socio-economic status and living conditions of women living in Kitgum District, northern Uganda. Profits from the honey sold will improve the status of women, reduce poverty and increase local employment. A community revolving-fund will also be established from the proceeds of honey sales and will be used for the benefit of other community members through the provision of micro-credit loans to extend the uptake of beekeeping and to help community members diversify into other agricultural production, or assist with other entrepreneurial activities.
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The √òrskov Foundation is currently funding a project with women from the Kitgum area, the Mon-bunyu women empowerment beekeeping project, which will act as a model and operate as a centre for learning and knowledge sharing. Existing knowledge and experiences from other similar projects shall be integrated and subsequently applied to improve efficiency. Beekeeping is a sustainable, cost-effective model for community development. Locally available materials are used for the construction of the hives. There is a local, regional and national demand for apiculture products, not just honey. Beekeeping has a key role to play in maintaining local biodiversity and conservation of the environment. Through the use of the revolving fund principle excess income obtained from the sales of the products (honey, wax, pollen, etc) can be reinvested by the community, providing them with access to affordable credit to buy what they deem to be most useful and then pay back into the community fund to ensure that others in the community continue to benefit in the longer-term. The nature of the revolving fund system means that there is no long-term reliance on outside help, as the communities have sole responsibility for the management and running of the project from the outset. Once communities engage in the initial project activities, the direction that the project takes is dependant on the locally-defined needs within the communities themselves.
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