Mr. Francis Kasiimire, a member of the Kaanana Modern farmers Group exudes confidence as he goes about his daily routine, checking on his bee-hives.
“I had a passion for bee-keeping even when I was still young” says Kasiimire. “My dream was realized when I attended a workshop organized by the ULAMP project in 2002.” He said.
Despite having been trained in bee-keeping, it was not until 2004 when he was introduced to the NAADS programme that Kasiimire started living his dream. Luckily for him, his farmer group was also registered under NAADS, setting him on a long road to success.
Following various trainings with NAADS, Kasiimire’s bee-keeping skills greatly improved his knowledge and skills, making his enterprise a success. This knowledge has been invaluable enabling him to increase his incomes.
Through NAADS training he acquired skills on making modern bee hives and even improving local hives to include a queen excluder. He is now a well accomplished trainer artisan for hives.
“I have become a trainer in this enterprise both within and outside my sub-county. I have been hired to train farmers in Kabale, Mbarara and Kamwenge,” he narrates.
Mr. Kasiimire’s bee keeping project is on a land sized 31 by 33 metres. It holds 33 bee hives, although this area has the capacity to cater for 100 hives.
“I obtain 120 litres of processed honey each year and sells a 20-litre Jerrycan at sh100,000,” says Kasiimire.
This means that Kasiimire earns sh600,000 a year. His annual expenditure, including labour and materials is not more than sh120,000 realising an annual net profit of sh480,000 from the five-year old project alone.
“Marketing honey is not a problem because as we talk now I have enough orders from my customers,” he explains. Adding that, “I no longer buy milk for my family because I own a cow which I bought using money from honey.”.
Some farmers have emulated Kasiimire. He boasts of having trained several farmers like Begumisa David of Rwebiyenje village, Kawaida of Silvestine Nyakatokye, Gumisiriza and Joseph Tibeingana from Rugazi.
Kasiimire’s main challenge remains on acquisition of skills for bee multiplication to enable him perpetuate selected breed in his apiary. He says that he needs more farmers to make a marketing association but this has been hampered by the fear people have on keeping bees near their homes.
Kasiimire also keeps goats. He has 40 crosses and a pure Boer he goat. The he goat and six of the crosses are on zero-grazing. He started with six local breed goats which he crossed. He has been earning about sh800,000 a year by selling eight goats annually to supplement the income from bees.
He sells an F1 cross at. sh50,000, an F2 at sh100,000 and a 3rd cross at sh150,000. Manure from his goats is put to maximum use. Kasiimire’s soil is otherwise naturally poor but he has transformed it using soil conservation technologies he acquired from NAADS trainers.
Kasiimire is currently the chairperson for Nyakatokye Parish Coordination Committee and a committed member of the Bisheshe sub-county farmers’ forum.
He appreciates NAADS’ role in the fulfillment of prosperity for all which is a key strategy in poverty eradication.