Successful bee keeping enterprise of a young entrepreneur

Successful bee keeping enterprise of a young entrepreneur
Successful bee keeping enterprise of a young entrepreneur

September 2008; Ganesh Bahadur Bista (33) owns 55 bee hives and sells honey in city markets as far and wide as Dhangadi, Mahendranagar, Nepalgunj, Pokhara and Kathmandu.

"In 2007, I produced 23 quintals of honey; and sold them at an average rate of Rs. 200 per kg. This translates into a net profit of Rs.120 per kg. sold as I invest Rs. 80 to produce one kilo of honey," says Bista.

Two sales outlets in Kailali (far-west region) and in the capital Kathmandu, have given Bista further market outreach.

Bista's life took a new turn when he received a five-day bee-keeping training organised in Kailali by the UNDP Micro-enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP) in 2004. In the training he learnt how to store, purify and produce honey; as well as some marketing techniques . With the technical and logistical support from MEDEP to begin a new enterprise, he purchased an initial lot of ten bee hives at a total cost of Rs. 40,000 and set up a honey production and selling point in his house. During his first year, he could produce 400 kgs. of honey, and each quintal was sold for Rs.18,000 earning a handsome profit.

Bista who had been forced to move from Baitadi to Kailali in 1996 due to extreme poverty and hardship has now become a successful entrepreneur. He is also an active member of the Nepal Honey Bee Keepers Association. In order to expand his market outreach, the honey is also marketed and sold during promotional events.

Dan Prasad Giri, Kailali based Micro-Enterprise specialist says, "Bista now earns enough to be categorised as a 'small entrepreneur,' which means someone whose total fixed capital is more than Rs.200, 000. In three years, Bista has made us proud. We just encouraged his creativity and helped him identify an outlet for his entrepreneurial energy. His story is used as a role model when we train new entrepreneurs."

MEDEP is active in four far-western districts ' Baitadi, Dadeldhura, Darchula and Kailali. Since its inception in 1998, the project has promoted a total of 5644 entrepreneurs in these four districts.