The honey growth sector in Eastern Ukraine is unique because it gathers the products of thousands of micro-businesses in the most remote rural communities into an export-oriented value chain. Ukraine is one of the world’s leading exporters, and yet the average beekeeper in Ukraine is an unregistered entrepreneur.

ERA aims to help eastern beekeepers develop into sustainable small businesses. We are addressing limitations in technical and business knowledge through our ambitious “Professional Beekeeper” training course, which will be integrated into higher and vocational education institutions across the region.

We are enabling beekeepers to grow their apiaries to sustainable scale faster by partnering with manufacturers of beehives and trailers to offer these key inputs at a 30% discount.

ERA is also supporting initiatives by honey SMEs to develop branding, value added production and direct to consumer marketing in order to capture more of the value from their honey. This includes consulting support for export of honey in the comb, honey-based desserts and other value-added products to such new markets as Japan.

USAID ERA plans to experiment with improving the local pollination resource base in the Sea of Azov region, where market access is strong but climate and landscape conditions limit the abundance of important pollinator plants. This will be accomplished by supporting local agricultural cooperatives with sewing equipment to plant wild and domestic pollinator plants around their communities.

Finally, ERA is addressing bottlenecks in the honey value chain in Eastern Ukraine such as the lack of registered bee breeders, or conflicts between beekeepers and farmers about application of pesticides. The Activity has engaged diverse public and private partners to address these problems.