Women Producers Build a Business

Badghis is one of Afghanistan’s most underdeveloped regions. Men and women alike are affected by this, but women especially are faced by multiple challenges to simply provide for their families. They frequently have no income. They are often restricted to household chores. They usually have limited contact with other women in their communities.

The women of Badghis deserve better than this. In response, World Vision worked to find a unique way to improve women’s livelihoods in Badghis: beekeeping.

But, why beekeeping? Beyond the many benefits of beekeeping, World Vision found it an ideal activity to support women’s livelihoods in Badghis because:

  1. Women can run their enterprises without even leaving their properties;
  2. Beekeeping does not necessarily require constant supervision, so women can easily work part-time; and,
  3. No immense capital or investments are necessary to get the business started.

Before World Vision’s intervention under AACRS, beekeeping businesses were very much subsistence based. There was a lack of knowledge or services that could benefit their production and increase their profits. Additionally, because previously employed honey-extraction techniques damaged the health of the hive, honey could only be extracted once per season.

To address these issues, World Vision worked with Afghanistan’s Department of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock to identify several households interested in establishing a business in honey production.

Women were trained on using specially designed honey extractors which expanded the longevity of their hives, enabled a biannual harvest, and increased profits. An increase of profits allowed some of these entrepreneurs to purchase additional bee boxes expanding their initial production from two boxes up to four boxes. Double the boxes, double the profits.

The communities in Badghis supported this initiative and through the Badghis National Trade Union they came to learn of these groups of businesswomen producing high-quality honey. The collaboration of these beekeeping groups kept up the strength of their businesses. This, in turn, earned them recognition in the eyes of the government and community development councils.

In addition to producing concrete results of improving women’s livelihoods in Badghis, the project has proven to be self-sustaining long-term. Since September 2018, beekeepers have been working without help from World Vision and are instead using the community resources and services available to them such as their beekeeping groups, the Badghis National Trade Union, and the Department of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock. World Vision is proud to contribute to such concrete results and sustainable development in Badghis through the AACRS scheme with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government.