Rural women bet on small businesses and themselves

Daisy Ramirez

León, Nicaragua

Globally, the demand for honey has grown at an annual rate of 15,000% and it is estimated that in 2015, it exceeded 1.9 million tons, driven by concerns about health and food safety. According to sources from the Nicaragua Ministry of Development, Industry and Commerce.

In the rural communities of Sutiava-León Nicaragua, ViviendasLeón implements programs to create small family businesses, SMEs, to promote and encourage sources of employment that allow, in a short time, to reduce the poverty rates that exist in the communities and at the same time that they contribute to environmental conservation.

In the rural areas of Sutiava, beekeeping is ideal for rural families because they can establish their apiaries in areas that are not used for agriculture or livestock, and control the type and quality of plants providing pollen. From the point of view of rural development, it supports the growth of participatory or cooperative mechanisms through small business creation.

Recently, the members of the COABE Bee Collective opened a second apiary on the farm of Doña Deysi Ramirez, member and partner of COABE. They moved ten boxes of hives from the original apiary to the new apiary. This, with the technical support and the team of ViviendasLeón, will allow greater production of honey, an increase in organic flowering plants to provide more and higher quality pollen, and expansion of the COABE SME; thus expanding sources of income in the Goyena community, where the apiaries are located.

ViviendasLeón technically supports the COABE Bee Collective in the expansion of the apiary, translating this into successful growth both for the cooperative and for greater production and marketing of honey and products derived from it. These include the preparation and production of soap, wines, shampoo, gel alcohol and are made in the specialized laboratory owned by the same group. Once additional honey is produced, it will translate into better sales, income and a dynamic local economy in the rural community.

Oralia Ramirez, owner and member of the group commented: 

”With the expansion of the apiary we hope to produce more honey and at the same time continue to produce honey-based products such as soap, creams and wines in greater quantities and thus be able to be marketed in grocery stores and León supermarkets. At the moment we can only sell in the rural community, at fairs that are held and to individuals on request.”

A proposed goal of COABE is to take advantage of this expansion as an alternative for greater honey production in the short term, translating into improved livelihoods, and forming part of the environmental and economic development of the Sutiaba communities in León, Nicaragua.

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