African Engineers: Honey for All

Engineers in a producing place generally uncover on their own at the foundation of an inverted pyramid of grassroots industrial exercise: upgrading mechanical workshops to develop machines for rural industries that offer inputs for agriculture and/or publish-harvest processing. In Kumasi, Ghana, for case in point, the Technology Consultancy Centre (TCC) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technological innovation (KNUST) introduced the manufacture of carpenters noticed benches and taught community carpenters to deliver Kenyan top-bar beehives to assistance an considerable beekeeping market. In Kumasi in the 1970s only 1 workshop manufactured saw benches, probably a dozen or so carpenters created beehives but the beekeepers came to selection hundreds with some personal apiaries using hundreds of beehives.

When in 1975 TCC engineers researched the dropped-wax bronze-casting industry of kurofofrom in close proximity to Kumasi, the artisans, makers of the renowned Ashanti gold weights, complained of scarcity of beeswax. It was shortly found that the only domestically-developed honey and beeswax in Ghana came from honey hunters who utilized hearth to travel wild bees from their nests and acquire their honey. The honey was of bad top quality, frequently tasting of smoke and contaminated by the brood: young bees in the egg and pupa levels of development. It was realised that a beekeeping field could provide the neighborhood market with superior excellent honey, beeswax and other bee goods.

SIS Engineering Ltd, a customer of the TCC was making carpenters’ observed benches for woodworking enterprises earning weaving looms for one more rural field challenge. These very same carpenters could, no question, produce beehives if ideal ideas have been furnished, so a lookup started for a beehive created to accommodate the African honey bee. In 1977 it was found that a job in Kenya funded by the Canadian Intercontinental Enhancement Agency (CIDA) experienced designed the Kenyan Major-Bar Hive (KTBH) and drawings of the hive were obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture in Nairobi. Early in 1978 3 of these hives had been developed in the Office of Creating Technological innovation workshop on the KNUST campus.

Two of the new beehives had been provided to an APPLE undertaking at Atebubu in Brong-Ahafo Area which aimed to coach wild honey hunters as beekeepers. The third was set up in the university’s botanical back garden wherever it was before long colonised by area bees. Regretably, the college experienced no experienced beekeepers and it was not till 1979 that it was possible to send out two individuals from Kumasi to Kenya for teaching. On their return, some serious beekeeping started off and the on-campus apiary was steadily expanded.

By January 1981 the TCC was confident sufficient to start out a instruction programme and a Very first Countrywide Workshop on Beekeeping was held on the KNUST campus. It was attended by 53 men and women, 20 have been US Peace Corps volunteers, who ended up really critical in advertising the new rural field, and 33 had been Ghanaians and a handful of foreign people from all components of the region. A number of these pioneers grew to become substantial-scale beekeepers who helped and encouraged a lot of of their close friends and neighbours to begin their personal apiaries.

Of all the assignments of the TCC began in the initial two many years of its existence, it is probably that beekeeping touched the life of most people today and unfold economic, social and health added benefits most extensively through the region. Some beekeepers, like Kwesi Addai in Sunyani created up apiaries of 300 hives and developed honey stored in 200 litre oil drums. Annual revenue amounted to hundreds of thousands of cedis and traders from Cote d’Ivoire crossed the border to obtain considerably of the generate. Quite a few little farmers mounted a several beehives on their modest plots and women of all ages trying to find to make improvements to the eating plan of their small kids have been encouraged by special programmes to build solitary hive apiaries to make honey for household use and for sale.

As for the shed wax bronze casters, beeswax had by no means been so low-cost or so abundant. Large shares of beeswax developed up at the larger business apiaries and the TCC was faced with demands to discover export markets for this product or service. Beekeepers were also trying to find markets for other bee goods these kinds of as royal jelly, pollen and bee venom, all of which can be made use of as medications or nutritional nutritional supplements.

Beekeeping touched the lives of countless numbers of persons. It was the kind of challenge in which intercontinental enhancement agencies delight, bringing added benefits to the poorest people today in the most deprived rural areas. But it could not have flourished but for the tiny team of carpenters who built the beehives, and the carpenters could not have coped with the significant demand for beehives with out the devices created by a single engineering workshop positioned in the excellent town of Kumasi. The international development agencies are hesitant to support initiatives in what they take into account to be the wealthier city locations, but without having these jobs supported by establishments like the TCC the mass-outcome rural jobs would not be possible, unless of course sustained permanently from outside. For locally self-sustained economic advancement in building nations a powerful urban-primarily based engineering field is vital.

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