BwS continues to do development DIFFERENTLY. We FIRST understand the problem and THEN craft solutions…
In Madagascar, BwS collaborates with a cooperative of beekeepers. The latter has suffered tremendously as a result of the pandemic and continues to struggle to run its operations. As a registered association, the entity is eligible for various funds, which it does not apply for due to the complexity of the application process. Most funds require an application with a strong justification of why the applicant is requesting funding, swanky PowerPoint presentation and spreadsheets included.
Madvee, our founder, writes a fair bit of project proposals for work. In July 2021, she offered to help the cooperative tap into these available funds by writing proposals on its behalf. In exchange, we require that the cooperative includes an equal number of men and women in their training program and a more proactive stance in including women in beekeeping. A fair ask one might say!
The global pandemic has been a huge setback for the cooperative and its beekeepers. The cooperative has not only lost sales but also some of its beekeepers. To make ends meet, many have resorted to side-selling their stock to cash-in-hand buyers instead of selling to the cooperative as per their agreement. We can’t blame them! Immediate cash, even at a lower rate per litre of honey sold, trumps delayed above-market prices when times are tough. To buffer against this for future harvests, we are currently working with the cooperative to find a solution where the members can be paid upfront for their harvest and the cooperative receives their share when the sale is concluded.
As you can see, we always have the best interest of our beekeepers at heart. Making a difference requires first understanding what issues they are facing and then crafting solutions to fix them. Some solutions are simple, others are complex but it’s fair to say that there is no one-size-fits-all solution in development.
We are certainly not done scheming to make our beekeepers’ lives easier! Sign up to our website to receive updates on our work in other African countries.