Baringo County is located in the former Rift Valley Province and its headquarters and largest town is Kabarnet.
The county is known for its huge potential in the production of honey with 176,000 beehives. It has been reported that honey produced in this county is superior in nutrients and originality as compared to other honey types.
It also known for the production of high quality and quantity bee products as a result of bees which have a rich genetic base.
The bee keeping sector is a very promising economic enterprise with many investment opportunities that can enable keepers to be in a position of maintaining steady and improved returns.
The county produces 579 tonnes of honey every year which makes the county earn Sh.144 million and they are working towards generating more than Sh.5 billion every year.
Despite the huge potential in this field to export honey across the world, many challenges are farces by the farmers which leads to a low growth in bee keeping business. They include demand for capacity building, increasing production through adoption of modern be keeping technology and cooperating under honey cooperatives.
Out of the challenges that bee keeping farmers face in Baringo county is where investors get a chance. A honey processing plant can be put up in the county. This will enable the farmers be in a position to harvest and sell their honey easily. This will also encourage those who have not yet started bee keeping to engage in the business since they will be encouraged.
A honey processing plant can also offer farmers with modern bee keeping skills. They will boost their knowledge and do away with the traditional ways of bee keeping which will enable them improve on product output. Many of them have no knowledge at all thus this will be the best platform for them to learn.
Currently, those who rear bees sell the honey to the self- help groups that have been formed in the community. Before the formation of the groups, they used to sell their honey to middle men who could buy the honey at throw away prices leading to great loses. The plant will not only benefit from the honey itself but there are many more other products in the line of bee keeping which include wax, propolis, pollen, royal jelly and bee venom. These products generate a lot of income.
Article by Vera Shawiza.