Academic journal article The Journal of Developing Areas

Financial Performance and Technical Efficiency Differentials for Apicultural Technologies in Nakaseke District, Uganda

Academic journal article The Journal of Developing Areas

Financial Performance and Technical Efficiency Differentials for Apicultural Technologies in Nakaseke District, Uganda

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

INTRODUCTION

Apiculture, also known as bee keeping is a growing economic activity worldwide (Kabasa et al, 2003). In Nakaseke district, bee keeping has remained largely non-commercial with people practicing honey hunting. Recently, there have been interventions in Nakaseke from government programs, Non-Government Organization (NGOs) and other private service providers to promote commercial production of honey. These interventions have risen because of the increased demand and the uses of honey products. Apart from direct consumption of the honey, it is used for dressing of wounds, as anti - diarrhea drag, in alcoholic drink, tobacco curing, bakery and confectionery and in manufacturing of cosmetics using various products like bee wax, propolis, bee venom, and royal jelly (Fadare et al, 2007). Bee keeping, reportedly increases pollination of crops and government revenue through taxes, levies and foreign exchange (Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Tanzania (MNRT), 2004; Kihwele et al, 1999). It also gives local people and the government economic incentive for the retention of natural habitats, and is an ideal activity in any forest conservation program (Okoso-Amaa et al, 2004; Mwakatobe, 2001). Bee keeping also faces a number of constraints and these include: inappropriate management skills, prohibitive costs for equipments, pests and diseases, bush fires, inadequate forage materials, low productivity and lack of organized honey bee products' markets. Despite the constraints, the enterprise is potentially a large income earner.

Unfortunately, there has been little research attention paid to the apiculture as an economic activity which made it necessary to undertake a baseline survey in the Farm Income Enhancement Forest Conservation project (FIEFOC)2. Most research has concentrated on the technical aspects of bee keeping like bee diseases and productivity. Available economic studies have largely focused on analysis of socio - economic attributes of farmers involved in bee keeping with little or no empirical testing. These socio economic studies reveal little information on the performance of both traditional and improved apiculture technologies. Among these studies Ja'afar-Furo (2007), analyzed a sample of 160 respondents and found 46.25% would adopt apiculture as a sideline economic activity. Majority of the farmers in the study reported that the stinging propensity of bees was the major constraint to the adoption of apiculture in Adamawa state of Nigeria. Fadare et al. (2007) studied the performance of apiculture technologies in Niger Delta state of Nigeria and found that the average yield from modem technology was 12.35 kg while for the traditional, it was 6.72 kg per colony. The same study found the production costs of traditional technology to be 42% of the modem technology.

Empirical studies in the area of apiculture are still very few and these include: Kim et al. (2006) who studied the factors influencing the adoption of Russian Varroa - Resistant honey bees using a Logit model. The study found the factors associated with the adoption as sales, internet use, and contact with other beekeepers. The negatively associated factors were: age and the income of the household while future adoption depended upon previous use and perception of a technology. Ghorbani and Khajehroshanaee (2009) used a hedonic pricing model and showed that honey with wax was more expensive than the honey without it. Also honey in modem packaging and less sweet was more expensive than that in traditional ones even when sweeter. None of these studies addressed production elasticities and technical efficiency of apiculture technologies, an area preferred in the current study. Production elasticities in apiculture have been examined by Ja'afar-Furo et al. (2009) and Olarinde et al (2008). In additional, the Olarinde et al. study looked at technical efficiency. The former study examined the effects of bush burning and honey theft on overall production benefits and found bush burning and theft reduced total benefits in Adamawa State by 4. …

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