Oxfam is launching our first ever Crowdfunding campaign. We need to raise £60,000 to fund our beekeeping social enterprise in Nepal. It provides local farmers with a sustainable, long term income and helps them to beat poverty for good.
Our partner, Sagar Bee Keeping Industries, currently supports 1,000 farmers by ensuring they have quality beekeeping equipment, modern bee hives, extensive training and a market to sell the honey they produce. We want to double this and reach 2,000 farmers.
A new beekeeping business yields a profit within its first year and only requires a small amount of land and initial investment.
Nepal is one of the world's poorest countries and agriculture is essential to its economy. It depends on the work of women, but women own less than one fifth of the land. Beekeeping is a path to prosperity for small-scale farmers in Nepal and particularly for women. If we get enough support we help those who have few resources, especially those without their own land to get an income. By becoming beekeepers, we can help people in Nepal to double their income and escape poverty for good.
Women are increasingly becoming responsible for farms in Nepal, as their husbands migrate to work overseas. Beekeeping provides a stable income with a small time investment and can be done close to home. Oxfam is working closely with women's groups, enterprise and credit cooperatives to increase opportunities for women and to empower them.
The average landholding of small scale farmers in Nepal is just 0.03 hectares and many have less than six months of food security. Beekeeping provides hundreds of families the chance to earn enough to provide for themselves, lifting them out of poverty for good.
Our partner, Sagar Bee Keeping Industries (SBKI) have already supported 1,000 farmers and provided training, equipment and guidance. Now we want to double the number of people they can reach. Working in Nepal for 20 years, SBKI provide a stable, reliable income for the farmers whose honey they purchase and sell it in large markets and supermarkets in Nepal.
SBKI works in 4 regions of Nepal: Kailali, Banke, Surkhet & Nawalparasi
Mrs Sunita Tamang (pictured above) began beekeeping three years ago, with 20 subsidised beehives. Prior to this, she grew rice, but this did not provide enough income to manage the household expenses. Now, she has 92 beehives and produces 2,500kg of honey per year, which she sells to SBKI. She has also invested the profits from beekeeping into starting her own beehive making factory. Within the first month, they had sold 100 beehives and she employs one full time carpenter.
”There is lots of demand for honey and bee colonies in the domestic market. Now, more and more farmers have started bee farming and have created demand for bee hives, equipment and accessories. One day my factory will satisfy all the needs of bee farmers around my areas.”
Oxfam is a vibrant global movement of people who won't live with the injustice of poverty.
We work with women’s groups to ensure they’re included in enterprise projects like this and have the opportunity to earn an income.
Find out more about Oxfam's Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) here
- Traditionally, bee hives were kept for personal consumption, but beekeeping is now becoming more popular as an income generating activity.
- Land tenure is a challenge in Nepal. Beekeeping doesn’t require much land – so much so that it’s sometimes referred to as ‘backyard beekeeping'.
- Beekeeping generally yields profits within the first year of operation.
- The by-products from beekeeping are either taken by cosmetic manufacturing companies or used by bee keeping farmers themselves in new bee hives.
- Beekeeping can be done around other commitments/ work and is flexible.
- Beekeepers working through SBKI mainly keep the 'Apis mellifera' species of bees, with a few farmers opting to keep the 'Apis cerana' species.
- Providing small-scale farmers with modern, more efficient beehives and beekeeping equipment. Modern hives are made using the timber of 'Toona Sinensis' which means they are warmer than traditional hives. The modern hives are also more spacious and better protected from the elements. An additional benefit is that it is easier to monitor whether any diseases or insects are harming the bees, which is not possible when using traditional hives. During harvest season, the bees can be left untouched when using modern hives, as it's possible to extract the honey without impacting them.
- Training farmers to increase the quality of the honey they produce and to increase their yields
- Selling the honey to more sophisticated domestic markets and supermarkets, ensuring a stable price is always paid
SBKI sells four different types of honey, based on the different flower nectar: mustard honey, churi (butter) honey, jungle honey and buckwheat honey.
On average, a farmer produces 20kg of honey from one hive in a year and up to 40kg from one colony.
The honey is procured from 7 districts of Nepal.
The bees feed from wild flowers in the foothills of the Himalayas. There are no pesticides or antibiotics used.
Bee Free Organic Soap scented with strawberry & rose. Produced by Arthouse Meath - UK based supplier who empower men and women living with complex epilepsy, learning and physical difficulties. This soap was designed by Arthouse Meath Artists then produced by CLARITY Employment for Blind People, one of the UK's foremost social enterprises.
Bee Free Mug. This fine bone china mug features a fun bee print designed by ARTHOUSE Unlimited Artists. Made in Stoke on Trent.
Brass Bee Earrings. Handmade by the women in the Flowering Desert Project in Tamil Nadu, India. The training and fairly paid employment opportunities at Flowering Desert offer a way for the women to increase their skills and future work possibilities, often bringing them a status in their society for the first time.
Brass Bee Pendant Necklace. Handmade by the women in the Flowering Desert Project in Tamil Nadu, India. The training and fairly paid employment opportunities at Flowering Desert offer a way for the women to increase their skills and future work possibilities, often bringing them a status in their society for the first time.
Brass Bee Brooch. Handmade by the women in the Flowering Desert Project in Tamil Nadu, India. The training and fairly paid employment opportunities at Flowering Desert offer a way for the women to increase their skills and future work possibilities, often bringing them a status in their society for the first time.
Beeswax Wraps 2 Midi, 1 Small. These beautiful reusable wraps are a fantastic plastic free alternative to clingfilm, using the heat of your hands to seal and preserve your cheese, bread and vegetables. This convenient multipack of Beeswax Wrap is perfect for food storage at home or on the go. This pack includes 2 Midi wraps and 1 Small Wrap. With proper care, these wraps can last at least 1 year, and as these wraps are 100% natural, they are also 100% home compostable. Hand made in the Cotswolds by Carly & Fran.
Beeswax Wraps Bread Wrap. This beautiful reusable Beeswax Wrap is a fantastic plastic free alternative to clingfilm, using the heat of your hands to seal and preserve your bread, cheese or vegetables. This large bread wrap is perfect for food storage at home keeping bread perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. This pack includes 1 Bread Wrap 50cm x 50cm. With proper care, this wrap can last at least 1 year, and as these wraps are 100% natural, they are also 100% home compostable. Hand made in the Cotswolds by Carly & Fran.
Beeswax Wraps bundle - 1 Beeswax breadwrap & 1 Beeswax multipack (2 midi, 1 small wrap). These beautiful reusable Beeswax Wraps are a fantastic plastic free alternative to clingfilm, using the heat of your hands to seal and preserve your bread, cheese or vegetables. Includes 1 Bread Wrap (50cm x 50cm) and 1 multi pack (2 Midi wraps and 1 Small Wrap).
Bee Jewellery Bundle - necklace, earrings & broach. Handmade by the women in the Flowering Desert Project in Tamil Nadu, India. The training and fairly paid employment opportunities at Flowering Desert offer a way for the women to increase their skills and future work possibilities, often bringing them a status in their society for the first time.
Mixed Bee Bundle - Brass Bee Pendant Necklace, Bee Free Mug & Beeswax Wraps 2 Midi, 1 Small. Sourced By Oxfam Collection. UK Shipping Included.
Spend a day learning to be a beekeeper! Like the farmers this project is helping, you will learn the craft of modern beekeeping: from keeping bees healthy to bottling your own honey. Your day could see you getting hands-on at the beehive, learning how to look after bees and make wonderful products from their wax and honey. We will select a course based on your location!
As a Member you will connect with the enterprises you support through interactive updates on the entrepreneurs and their businesses. You will be invited to our annual Enterprise Development Review, giving you the opportunity to contribute your ideas directly to our projects. You will also be invited to an intimate dinner in London hosted by the Enterprise Development Board.
The opportunity to see the impact of the work for yourself! Join a programme visit arranged by Oxfam to Nepal for a week. You will be accompanied by the Enterprise Development Programme team, visiting not only Sagar Bee Keeping Industries and the farmers they are helping but the other fantastic businesses supported by EDP.
Q. When will I receive my reward?
A. We will be dispatching all rewards in mid August.
Q. I don't want a reward, how do I pledge?
A. If you click on the orange 'support us' button at the top of the page, you'll be able to make a pledge without receiving a reward.
Q. Which countries can you ship rewards to?
A. The rewards include standard delivery to UK addresses. Unfortunately we're unable to send 'Sourced By Oxfam' items overseas at this time. We apologise for any disappointment caused.
Q. Can I pledge anonymously?
A. Yes, you can opt to hide your name from other supporters list by ticking the relevant box when you make your pledge.
Q. How have you calculated your target of £60,000?
A. £60,000 will enable us to reach 1,000 farmers through our partnership with SBKI. We will provide technical training to smallholder farmers to develop their skills in beekeeping and beehive management. SBKI also will provide subsidised beekeeping equipment, beehives, bee colonies and marketing services to sell the honey.
Q. What do you need from me?
A. We would love for you to pledge to support this project to help us reach our £60,000 goal. Sharing this project with your friends and family, via social media or other means, will help us to reach our goal.
Q. What am I getting?
A. Every pledge takes us one step closer to our goal of £60,000 and allows us to help more farmers to become beekeeping social entrepreneurs! We have a range of amazing rewards, as a thank you for your pledge.
Q. I have a question you haven't answered here.
A. Get in touch with us here