Image: Beekeeping stock photo.


Story of impact

Using bees to boost crop production

There has been widespread outcry over declining crop production and productivity especially in central Uganda. While this is a result of a combination of factors, the reducing number of pollinators due to widespread chemical use, among others, has been cited.

In reaction to this outcry, on October 17, 2021, the project published a story of a farmer from one of the community organisations in Nakaseke district, central Uganda, who managed to increase coffee production by 24% within a space of one-half years simply by incorporating bee keeping. His earnings from the 10-acre plantation also increased by 76.4% in the same period because his “coffee flowers are getting efficiently pollinated” since he invested in more than 300 bee hives.

“All these berries, when you open them, none of them is without a seed inside. Because of honeybee pollination, I am able to receive high yields for my coffee,” the farmer said.

Quoting experts and journal articles, the story also provided modern ways of bee keeping and feeding which farmers could adopt to maintain out-of-season forage access for bees. These including addition of a year-round forage crop, such as Calliandra calothyrsus, on the farm.

When the story was published, at least seven farmers contacted the News Editor to connect them to the farmer who had been profiled for learning purposes.

The story was published by New Vision in Uganda as part of the CABI, SciDev.Net and Robert Bosch Stiftung science journalism project.