Honey production takes off in sanag’s daalo mountain


March 21, 2024

Bee boxes set up by honey harvesters/File photo

Turning to beekeeping in the mountainous area of Somaliland north of Erigabo has been a good move for Abdi Yusuf Mohamud and his family.

Last year, he moved 16 kilometres outside the city to Karin village in Daalo mountains to keep bees and harvest honey, after quitting work as a porter due to a physical health condition.

“I am doing well now and so is my family. I used to worry a lot about how to make a living for my family, as sometimes I’d make some income and sometimes we would miss out. But now I have found the honey harvesting provides us with a stable income,” he said.

He occasionally had support from his relatives but now manages on his own on the roughly $350 a month he makes from the honey business.

Abdi owns two bee boxes from which he harvests about eight kilograms of honey every month. A kilo of honey sells for $25 in the local markets. He earns an additional $150 a month guarding bee boxes at night for other keepers.

He has managed to pay off the $2,500 debts that he had accrued over the past two years.

“I used to spend all my time thinking about where I would get money. As a porter the income was erratic. My plan now is to keep rearing my bees and improve the business,” he said.

Abdi has enrolled three of his eight children in a local school, paying $18 for their education. He also pays $50 to see a nerve specialist every month and to buy medicine. He used to have difficulty carrying heavy things and even walking but is regaining his strength.

This community of bee keepers has been built up by the honey harvester’s association in Daalo mountain, led by Abdirahman Mohamed Muse. He says bees have changed the lives of the families now working there. He noted that they had chosen the location as the climate was conducive for bee keeping.

The association took a loan of $14,000 from Dahabshiil bank to invest in bee boxes and harvesting equipment, water storage for the bees, and houses for honey workers. The association has 14 members currently who have been provided with boxes and equipment and given access to the facilities.

The association invested in awareness campaigns on the importance of honey for health. Through the sales of honey, they succeeded in paying off the loan after six months.

“This has created jobs for young people and we’ve shown how people can generate opportunities for themselves. It’s also led to business for shopkeepers and we have really exceeded our expectations,” Abdirahman said.

One of the honey retailers in Erigabo is Abdirahman Guled Ali, who made about $200 a month when he first started the sales last year.

“Customers want to buy our honey because it’s a natural product and good for health,” he said. “It’s been a huge leap for us, we’re able to pay electricity and water bills and children’s education. We struggled to pay these bills because we didn’t have a stable income before.”

Abdirahman has already started saving, putting $25 aside a month, and is planning to join the association of bee keepers and invest in his own bees up the mountain.

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