Trees & Bees: Empowering Women in Nepal

Bee keeping and climate-adaptive agroforestry practice generate sustainable income for livelihoods of 500 families in Sarlahi District of Nepal.

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RECOFTC

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Social causes

Beneficiaries

SDGs covered

Endorsed by

Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN)

WOCAN is a women-led international membership network that provides expertise to assist organizations achieve women’s empowerment objectives.

Market of Implementation

  • Nepal

Problem

Using local knowledge, women in Sarlahi have developed a sustainable relationship with forests. The residents collect and sell wild fruits, nuts, bamboo and medicinal plants from the forest. Yet, irregular weather patterns and frequent floods caused by deforestation, jeopardizes the community’s ability to live off forest’s resources. To adapt, Sarlahi’s women-led Community Forest User Group developed a plan. Through beekeeping and agroforestry, the community can increase forest cover and improve livelihoods. But, they need help. Bee keeping is hindered by lack of enough forage area for bees, frequent droughts, severe winters and flash floods. Farmers have to bring bees to nearby villages for foraging, incurring transportation and management costs. Most of the beekeepers are poor and marginalized, not well trained and unable to receive full benefits from beekeeping. They need support until their businesses can run profitably, to full potential, including with high profit margins.

Solution

In 2015, The Center launched a first phase of the ‘Trees and Bees’ project to improve livelihoods of women-led community groups in Sarlahi District. The project provided training and support to poor and marginalized families raising their income by 50%, allowing some to earn as much as USD 270 from honey sales harvested from three hives. The Center is now working with the communities to scale up ‘Trees and Bees’ to neighboring villages in Sarlahi District. With new funds, the Trees and Bees project can provide a year of additional technical training on beekeeping and forage area development through sustainable agroforestry practices. The funding can help provide more beehives and fruit trees. The Center will connect beekeepers to private sector actors in the value chain to improve processing, packaging, labeling and certification of products to ensure bees and trees- and the incomes from them – are long term sustainable.

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