Building sustainable beekeeping capacity in sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Malawi

Van Blyderveen, William
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Guelph

Beekeeping has a long history in Sub-Saharan Africa, including the nation of Malawi. However, limited peer reviewed literature is available on beekeeping livelihoods and constraints in Malawi. This study used key informant interviews, household surveys, focus group discussions, and observations to characterize beekeeping operational levels in Malawi, identify constraints, and provide suggestions for building capacity theorized from a Sustainable Livelihoods Approach perspective. The results identified clear differences in capitals between operational levels of independent small holders, commercial beekeepers, association/cooperative, and NGO beekeepers, emphasizing research should clearly identify the operational level. Furthermore, this study found independent Malawians building commercial beekeeping businesses, which is unacknowledged in existing policies and research. In the short-term, building human capital through training programs for all levels of beekeepers is recommended. With respect to enabling beekeeping livelihoods in Malawi, non-governmental organizations need to use an industry driven and participatory approach rather than be oriented to poverty relief.

Beekeeping development, Malawi beekeeping, capacity building, beekeeping livelihoods