Traditional beehives in a tree.
Photo: Jörg Böthling


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With its Growth and Transformation Plan, Ethiopia’s government has set itself the task of transforming subsistence agriculture to market production, with a special emphasis on supporting women and youth. What role could apiculture play in this regard?

Ethiopia, with a population of around 100 million people, is the second most populous country in Africa. Not only is it famous for its coffee and injera (sourdough-risen flatbread), Ethiopia is also the biggest honey producer in Africa and is ranked ninth in the world. The Ethiopian honey sector has a long tradition. National production of honey amounted to 50,800 tons in 2015/16. A total of 5.92 million beehives are found in 1.4 million households. However, it is estimated that the amount of honey being produced only accounts for ten per cent of the actual full potential.

The Government of Ethiopia aims to promote employment of women and youth as well as honey production in the country. Against this background, the Green Innovation Centre in Addis Ababa commissioned a study in order to identify possibilities and give recommendations concerning the enhancement of beekeeping in Arsi Zone in the Oromia Region (see Box on page 44).

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