Prodecoop projects to double honey
San Jose, April 22nd (CSF). - The cooperative without borders PRODECOOP from Nicaragua projects to double its multi floral honey production by extending its production area and increasing the number of beehives.
The expansion project and the increase in hives by 39% are meant to compensate for the low yield from the last harvest that reached an average of 9 thousand kilos.
In 2017, prolonged rainy periods, droughts and an increase in the number of hives affected the harvests causing a drop in production by 50%.
Technician Adolfo Martinez, the director of honey production in Prodecoop, indicated that the decrease in last year’s production was 4,500 kilograms of honey. During the 2015 and 2016 harvests the average harvest was estimated to be 9,200 kilos.
Greater women involvement
This year the cooperative hopes to recuperate their losses by increasing the number of hives from 750 to 1222. “We have a support project for the value chain in northern Segovia that plans on incorporating another 150 apiculturists with 450 hives, as well as another towards the end of the year that is directed towards women and aims to expand by 160 hives, explained Martinez. The projects are backed by Heiffer International and We Effect.
Honey production is Prodecoop’s second most productive activity. For years the coop was dedicated to growing and commercializing arabica coffee. However, in 2012 the coffee rust fungus adversely affected the yields of hundreds of coffee farmers in Central America which brought about the necessity for Prodecoop to diversify their production with the help of Cooperativas Sin Fronteras.
The path towards diversification began with the induction of the coffee farmers into the apicultural roster. There, they were met with difficulties such as management problems, hive transportation and difficulties with adaptation due to the steep inclination and access to the coffee plots. However, the greatest problem was unwanted swarming which resulted in the hive desertion.
Prodecoop’s honey project involves 95 beekeepers of which 29 are women and hopes to be completeing its own processing plant this year.
Their 100% pure, multifloral, ambar colored honey has a humidity level of 17-18%
25% of their production is sold in the national market as fractionated honey in 700ml size containers under their own brand: Miel de Segovia. The remaining honey is commercialized wholesale in 300kg tanks.
translated by Jesse Trace