Optimising beekeeping development programs for improved productivity, income and welfare: a case study of Papua New Guinea

Cooper Nat Schouten, David Lloyd, Reuben W. Sengere, Jonah Aranka


Beekeeping can provide important sources of cash income for farmers in developing countries where land is unconducive to crop and livestock production systems. In many low-income countries however, attrition among beekeeping adopters remains a chronic problem, colony losses are high, support for and coordination of the sector is low, and practices, production and income from beekeeping is often inefficient. This study investigated the key drivers and practices influencing incomes from beekeeping, honey production and numbers of hives owned by beekeepers in the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. Survey data from 117 beekeepers revealed that beekeeping contributes to improving farmers resilience and security in times of financial hardship with 85% of beekeepers reporting using their honey as a form of a bank and beekeepers earning average annual net incomes of US$715.50. Specifically, our results highlight the importance of supplementary feeding, multiplying colonies by making splits, reinvestment into beekeeping enterprises and access to more than a single apiary site as key factors influencing productivity and income. This study provides guidelines for optimising beekeeping outcomes in low-income countries and provides recommendations to inform policy options for strengthening beekeeping for sustainable community development programs and partnerships.


International assistance; Rural development; Sustainable livelihoods; Honey; Apis mellifera.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17170/kobra-202007291511

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