The team of 14 – which includes the Food Manufacture Group’s md, Lorraine Hendle, and Sainsbury’s director of brand, Judith Batchelar – arrived on Monday (October 16) to build 100 beehives in just 72 hours.
The beehive-building mission followed similar projects and is designed to spark new income for women in the Nou Forest area of the country, as trees are felled to sell as firewood, and to clear grazing land for stock.
Honey producer Joyce Lali, from Erri village in Manyara, said: “I would like to thank the Big Beehive Build group for coming to Erri and giving us the beehives.
‘We were oppressed by men’
“It is something that has given real value to our lives. I send special appreciation for making us women seen. Before, we were invisible in the community. You have helped us increase the value of females in the community. Before, we were oppressed by men and we didn’t earn any of our own money.
“Now, I earn my own money and I can buy the things I need myself,” said Lali, who benefited from a previous beehive building visit.
Regina Alfred from Bermi village will receive some of the beehives the group is building this year. “I didn’t used to have much capability to help my children but I have tried my best to help them get somewhere in life,” said Alfred.
‘Pay for my daughter to go to school’
“The money from this year’s honey harvest will pay for my daughter to go to school. I have nothing more to say to the Big Beehive Build team than to say a big thank you.”
Farm Africa head of fundraising Jenni Bright said Tanzania loses around 370,000ha of forest a year – the equivalent of 1,000 football fields every day.
“By helping local communities make money from forest-friendly businesses like honey production, Farm Africa not only helps local communities escape poverty, we help protect the forests for generations to come,” said Bright.
The Big Beehive Build is one of the events organised this year as part of Farm Africa’s Food For Good campaign, which aims to enlist the support of the global food and hospitality industry in building a more prosperous rural Africa.