Dubbed “The Bee Keepers’ Hub”, Nyuki Hubs is a youth-led social enterprise that takes pride in working with farmers to produce and process honey and other bee products. The company is a one-stop shop for the entire value chain for bees. It has opened four hubs in Makueni, Tharaka Nithi, Taita and Narok where farmers can receive modern equipment for bee keeping, colonies and extension and technical support.
Nyukihubs is a Limited company established as a social enterprise. The core business of the enterprise is to produce quality honey and establish effective bee keeping programs that will improve the quality and quantity of the bee-products that it gets from beekeepers. Nyukihubs model is enabled through establishing trusted relationships with small holder farmers who are incentivized through access to new beekeeping technologies in return for honey supply to Nyukihubs at competitive buying prices.
Joseph Karuga the General Manager at the company says that they have specialized in promoting the bee keeping business in Kenya. “We offer training to aspiring and practicing bee keepers to promote high standards practices of this trade: We train on apiary setting and colonization, bee biology, odern beekeeping equipment, beehive product uses and value and hive product harvesting and processing among other services,” he says. “We are concerned with transfer of technical know-how to beekeepers, provision/supply of modern beekeeping technology, market access to beekeepers and most importantly the social well being of our bee keepers partners.”
Nyukihubs business concept is a progressive and competitive addition to the underutilized honey production capacity in Kenya. The business model does not only allow the suppliers beekeepers to access regular and fair commercial markets but also share in the value addition enabled through the value-added processing facilities on a regional basis.
Their products include honey, bee wax, propolis, pollen, royal jelly and bee venom. For those aspiring to venture into the bee keeping business, Nyukihubs has come up with a package that helps one to acquire a complete package of basic beekeeping equipment that are necessary and ideal for a start-up at a subsidized cost of 175,400/=.
Currently, Joseph reports that the company has contracted more than 3,100 farmers from different parts of the country. “We find pride when we are able to create a social impact by giving farmers of all ages an agribusiness initiative that they can venture into with minimal labor requirements,” he says. The company is above all in great efforts and activities of partnering with beekeepers in different regions to form self-help groups and transforming them into co-operatives.
Nyukihubs aims to become a global company of excellence and expertise on issues pertaining to honey production and bee farming in general. “Our other pride is when we are able to work with the farmers on the entire value chain of bees,” Joseph adds. He thanks Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) for what he terms as “tremendous support that has helped the business remain in place” ranging from the business advisory, support in visibility and numerous training. “We have actually gotten several customers from Facebook after the social media training we received from KCIC which is a plus to our farmers,” he says. “We thus hope to keep learning more for the remaining period of our incubation.”
By Solomon Irungu N.