Mr. Akowe Loukou lives in Bago (Tchamba) in the Central Region of Togo, where he has been involved in farming and trading since his youth. Aged 38 and a father of three children, he lives mainly from the production of maize, soy, and cashews. Five years ago, having seen the health benefits of honey, he took up beekeeping to have a little honey to meet his family’s nutritional and dietary needs.

He says: «I started with traditional beekeeping. I had hives in jars that I put in my cashew tree plants, and I managed to harvest four to five liters of honey every year for my family and myself. »

Starting in 2021, Mr. Akowe was accompanied by VSF-Suisse and its partners as part of the MiKaGo project. Mr. Akowe attended training in modern techniques, marketing, honey processing, and has been supported in the acquisition of beekeeping equipment. He tells us about his experience: «Once we had been trained, we organized ourselves in order to help each other in our beekeeping activities. That’s when I noticed that my colleagues who were producing with modern hives and treating their honey well were starting to get better yields than the rest of us. So, I decided to use modern hives and apply the techniques I’d learned in our training courses with the MiKaGo facilitators. »

Three years after the implementation of the project, Mr. Akowe tells us about his beekeeping activities: «Beekeeping has become a means of income for me. Today, I don’t just harvest honey for family consumption, but much more to increase my income. I’ve gone from four traditional hives to twelve modern ones, and last year I was able to harvest almost 100 liters of honey, which I sold on the local market and in Lomé (the capital). With the income I get, I’m able to buy fertilizer to support my agricultural crops – and save some money. »

Mr. Akowe adds that his greatest satisfaction lies in the testimonials of his customers: «I have loyal customers, especially those from the capital. They say that my honey has a special flavor because of its cashew aroma. »

Incorporating the agroecological practices introduced by the project, Mr. Akowe is now adopting environmentally friendly beekeeping and quit wild honey hunting (consisting of burning the hives of wild bees while destroying the trees). The placement of beehives in relation to flowering and the sowing of flowering crops have become common practice in the project area. As a result, dependence on sugar to feed bees during the slack periods between the flowering of crops such as cashew nuts has been reduced, while preserving and even improving the quality of the honey sold, as the testimonial underlines. Through MiKaGo, VSF-Suisse promoted beekeeping that respects the environment and the well-being of bees.

The project was created by VSF-Suisse in partnership with GEVAPAF [1] and CASADD-VR [2] is financed by SDC, Swiss cantons (lottery funds), environmental foundations and Swiss municipalities. A complete list and more information about the project can be found here.

[1] Gestion de l’Environnement et Valorisation des Produits Agropastoraux et Forestiers

[2] Centre d’Action pour la Sécurité Alimentaire, le Développement Durable et la Valorisation des Ressources

Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Be the first to hear news about VSF-Suisse activities, receive insight into projects, get country updates, interesting stories and much more... We are happy to have you!
This website uses cookies to ensure that you get the best experience.
This website uses cookies to ensure that you get the best experience.