Youth Alliance for Sustainable Development (YASD) has urged farmers in Mchinji to embrace bee-keeping and start creating community reserve forests for them to scale up the activity in the district.
YASD Executive Officer, Gerald Njanji, made the urge at Mtiwa Village in Traditional Authority Simphasi this week during a tree-planting exercise at Zitheba Farmers’ Club where 1700 trees were planted.
“Farmers cannot start keeping bees when they do not have trees; they need to create community reserve forests which are made over a long period, not just in a single year, hence the need for the farmers to take part in planting trees every year,” he said.
Permaculture Paradise Institute Managing Director, Luwayo Biswick, said if apiculture is taken seriously, it has the potential to turn things around for livelihoods of people in rural areas.
“Through afforestation, people can start bee-keeping for economic gains, hence my organisation’s decision to partner with YASD to help communities create economic resilience through economic ventures like bee-keeping,” said Biswick.
He pledged to continue working with YASD with the belief of achieving good results by reaching out to many farmers in Mchinji and beyond to plant more trees and establish food forests for provision of basic needs.
On her part, Zibetha Farmers’ Club Chairperson, Esther Andileki, said the tree-planting exercise was timely since they had already started bee-keeping.
Chiosya Extension Planning Area (EPA) Forestry Assistant Officer, Madalo Chitekwere, pledged to help in taking care of the planted trees so that people of Mtiwa Village and the district benefit from them.
YASD is implementing Afforestation for Sustainable Community Development (ASCOD) Project in conjunction with Permaculture Paradise Institute (PPI) in Mchinji District.