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  • Author: Belets Gebremichael x
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Gebrehaweria Kidane Reda, Shishay Girmay and Belets Gebremichael

Abstract

The contribution of beekeeping is perhaps one of the most important income-generating activities for millions of smallholder farmers in Ethiopia. This study was intended to assess beekeeping practices and potential in three districts of Afar Region, northern Ethiopia. Primary data were collected from 120 respondents proportionally selected from each district. Semi-structured questionnaire were employed to collect the primary data. Focus-group discussion was also used to support interpretation of the interview data. Basically, descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data. All respondents use traditional honey production system despite some recent trials. The mean live colony ownership of the sample beekeepers is 10.08 colonies per household, with a maximum ownership of 62 colonies. The study showed that the annual honey production per beehive varies from 4 to 17 kg, with a mean production of 9.66 kg. The majority of the respondents harvest two times per year, while 18%, 19%, and 14.2% of the respondents harvest three, four, and five times per year respectively. This might be due to the special floral calendar of tropical plants found in the areas. 67.5% of respondents supplement their colonies during dry season. Producers travel more than seven kilometres to sell their honey. On average, beekeepers sell 77.86 kg per year individually, with a range of 0 to 353 kg. The main constraints of honey production in the area are recurrent drought, poor extension service, lack of access to improved technology, deforestation, etc. Therefore, it requires intervention to change the old beekeeping practices through training and introducing improved production systems.