Ja REEACH Supported Beekeeping Activities in Jamaica
Farmer and Youth Groups Poised to Profit from New Endeavors
The USAID-funded Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change (Ja REEACH) project protected rural lives, livelihoods, and ecosystems through interventions that lessened the impact of climate change and strengthened the capacity of vulnerable communities to adapt. Two apiculture activities emerged through Ja REEACH support that offered participants new opportunities to make money and build greater community cooperation.
The Golden Valley Jamaica Agricultural Society (GVJAS) started out largely as a group of subsistence farmers. Now, thanks to Ja REEACH support, they have blossomed into business-savvy apiculturalists.
Over 120 households have directly benefited from the society’s work. GVJAS plans on using a part of revenues to improve existing facilities, develop labels for their products, and create and package beeswax products.
A youth group in Airy Castle, in the parish of St. Thomas, started keeping bees in July 2015. Though they haven’t harvested their honey yet, they look forward to profits of approximately JMD$300,000 ($2,476). They made arrangements with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Apiculture Unit to conduct a production workshop to further their operation’s productivity. The group’s enthusiasm about beekeeping is spreading to farmers in the community who are exploring the craft’s potential to generate additional income.