Factors affecting the profitability of honey production in Masindi district
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Honey is a bee’s product that stands as one of the natural resources of significant importance socially and economically. In Uganda, following the realized potential of honey for economic development, the government and non-government organizations (NGOs) have devoted effort to mobilize and provide support in development of beekeeping sector in order to increase honey production capacity of the country. The government of Uganda, for instance through the Plan for Modernization of Agriculture, has promoted beekeeping extension services particularly targeting the rural poor, however, honey productivity and beekeeping remain low amongst rural farmers in Uganda. The study focused on beekeeping practiced by small holder farmers in Masindi district in western Uganda where a random sample of 60 farmers were reached and information about beekeeping obtained from them. Information regarding factors that influence profitability of honey production was obtained. Data was collected and analyzed using a computer software known as SPSS version 20. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize farmers’ characteristics. A multiple linear regression was used to determine factors affecting productivity and profitability of honey production and results revealed that majority of the beekeepers are male (80%) and a few female (20%), the mean farm size is about 25 hives and the mean distance to honey market is about 22km. Results further showed that profitability increases with farm size and is statistically significant at 5% level. Productivity increases with amount of labor used, feed supplements and farm size and these were also statistically significant at 5% level. Productivity and profitability can be improved by training beekeepers to equip them with knowledge and skills for modern bee keeping, they should also be trained on how to add value onto honey for better value for their honey.