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John Morijoi: I Started Small and Now Making a Fortune from Honey

John Morijoi sells honey wholesale at a cost of Ksh500 per litre of liquid honey but goes for Ksh800 when sold at retail prices

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John Morijoi, a bee farmer at Loita area in Narok South Sub County, says he is making a fortune from keeping these honey-making insects. The young farmer said he opted for the business as it requires little capital to start and take ‘very little time’.

Eight years later, John Morijoi says he has no regrets. “For eight years now, I have been actively involved in the beekeeping business. I find it much better than other types of agri-businesses as it requires little time and space,” he says.

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According to Morijoi, bee farming is a simple venture if one decides to put a little effort into it as it needs only the attention of the farmer to know when the honey is ready for harvesting.

Apiculture as a business has helped Mr Morijoi to sustain his family during these tough economic times. “I am educating my children through the business. My family is living a decent life,” he reiterates.

Mr Morijoi says that he has passed his knowledge to a number of other farmers especially those in self-help groups. “Women are huge beneficiaries of apiculture. I have engaged women from different areas such as Nchaishi, Enkiu, Elangata Enterit, Loita, and Olderekesi in Narok South. Many of them are happy doing the business and have improved their livelihoods,” he says.

To boost his business, Morijoi has a registered company located along Narok-Nakuru Highway next to Noolomong’i House known as Loita Acacia Honey Limited, through which he supplies his products to his customers.

Morijoi sells honey wholesale at a cost of Ksh500 per litre of liquid honey but goes for Ksh800 when sold at retail prices. “I have many customers who book my honey. Many buy at wholesale while others buy in retail. I maintain cleanliness to ensure my honey is of high quality,” he says.

He says his honey company also sells honey by-products such as bee wax, royal jelly, bee venom, propolis, and pollen, each with its own use. “For example, propolis is used to manufacture Tuberculosis drugs while bee wax is used to fashion dreadlocks in human hair,” he adds.

Apart from honey production, the farmer also makes and sells beehives. “I offer installation services to my customers. Sometimes I assist the farmer in harvesting for the first and second harvests,” he said.

He asked the County Government Department of Agriculture to offer training in apiculture and donate beehives to farmers willing to venture into the business.

“One major challenge that farmers are facing is lack of basic knowledge in apiculture. The government can take up that role and train farmers. They also need assistance in acquiring beehives because traditional ones are not efficient,” Morijoi added.

Bees provide a vital pollination service to millions of acres of crops, improving sustainability and biodiversity hence they are vitally important to the sustainability of agriculture. At least one-third of the human food supply from crops and plants depends on insect pollination, most of which is done by bees.

The farmer now urges Narok residents to venture into the bee-keeping business to improve their livelihoods owing to the favourable arid climatic conditions suitable for the bees. (Reporting by KNA)

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BT Correspondent
BT Correspondenthttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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