Livelihood Resilient Strategies through Beekeeping in Chitanga Village, Mwenezi District, Zimbabwe

bernard chazovachii, Maxwell Chuma, Alimos Mushuku, Leonard Chirenje, Leonard Chitongo, Raphel Mudyariwa

Abstract


The study sought to establish the contribution of beekeeping in rural livelihoods sustainability. Chitanga village had experienced low agricultural productivity due to poor and infertile soils and this has led to food insecurity which had driven them into beekeeping. This opportunity has been driven by the existence of tall trees and wild plants that develop flowers in the village which attracted bees. However, the utility of beekeeping enterprise as a livelihood activity has not been fully realised. This study was carried out in the context of a sustainable rural livelihoods framework. This framework states that at any given time, every community or society falls under a vulnerability context as a result of both natural and human made disasters. In light of the vulnerability, a community mobilises the various forms of its assets at its disposal to earn a living. Applying this framework, the study analysed the strategies the community employed to enhance its livelihoods through the sharing of benefits. The research used questionnaires, structured interviews and observations as sources of gathering data. The study established the benefits which accrued from beekeeping that included honey as food, income in the form of cash, medicines, scenery creation for tourism and income generating projects through making of hives, growing of flowers and citrus fruits which attract bees. A backward and forward linkage of enterprises emerged. Employment creation and increasing in the number of livelihood activities in the area has been witnessed due to beekeeping. This culminated in diversification of livelihood options leading to rural transformation through utilization of local available resources. The study recommends that the sustainability of beekeeping enterprise should be reinforced by backward and forward linkages. The government partnered by NGOs should take the lead and compliment the efforts of beekeepers by providing clear policy and planning.


Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/sar.v2n1p124

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Sustainable Agriculture Research   ISSN 1927-050X (Print)   ISSN 1927-0518 (Online)

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