Meet Santo Opira
Santo Opira started practising the Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA) model in 2017 after his training which focused on all seven pillars.
Santo opted to diversify his means of livelihoods by not only relying on crop agriculture but also Apiary farming. While he opted for apiary, he was still practicing it using rudimentary skills until 2019 when he was taken for an exposure learning visit under the YESSEN project.
For exposure learning, he was taken to the national agriculture trade show which happens annually in Jinja were he concentrated on knowing more about Apiary farming. During the trade show, Santo learnt how to care for bees and about the KTHs (Kenya traditional hives) which ease controlling of pests and diseases, make harvest easier and is big enough to contain up to 50kg of honey. After the trade show, Santo bought nine hives and put them in his apiary farm.
The exposure helped improved Santo’s life greatly and so far this year, he has been able to harvest up to 250kg and process up to 400 litres of honey, earning him a total income of up to Ugx.3M (820 USD) for the first time.
Before the exposure training under the YESSEN project, Santo was producing between 60-90kgs of honey only, had no knowledge of value addition or market information and was only concentrating in selling crude honey. Santo has now learned to make other products from honey such as wax and honey wine which earn him the extra income.
Santo used part of the income that he earned from the sales of honey to procure bee equipment that is a bee suit, smoker, gumboots, overall and tight bucket to enable him to engage in the business adequately. He also procured a pair of oxen which he used in a 6-acre soya bean garden. With this achievements, Santo’s life has gradually changed.
“I am very grateful to have been introduced to the CRSA model, now I know that my life will never be the same again,” he narrated excitedly.