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Border Timbers partners with ILO Skills Programme giving 60 000 tonnes timber waste and off cuts

120 Youth in Gokwe South received 60 000 tonnes of waste timber from Border Timbers Limited, under the beekeeping Training for Rural Economic Empowerment (TREE) initiative by the ILO. The timber waste and off cuts were recycled into 1,000 beehives by the youth during the TREE training in Beekeeping designed and delivered by the Gokwe Vocational Training Centre and Beekeepers Association of Zimbabwe.

120 Youth who graduated from the TREE Beekeeping skills training are now proud owners Kenyan Top Bar beehives situated in natural woodlands in the Nhlalambi and Njelele areas. The ILO in collaboration with the Beekeepers Association of Zimbabwe has facilitated access to retail and pharmaceutical markets for the youth's honey produce. Beekeepers Association of Zimbabwe through their company NutroPak will buy the honey at USD3.50 per kg, each Kenyan Top Bar hive will generate at least US$70 each season, representing an increase in productivity and income of at least 10 times (1000%).The possibility of youth processing beeswax into candles, wax, soap, Vaseline and other products is being explored.

The Kenyan top bar beehives are simple to manufacture, give a better yield per season (20 -30 Kg) and are more environmentally friendly than the traditional bark hives (2 - 5 Kg) that Youth in Gokwe South were using.  These new types of hives have also enabled the participation of women in beekeeping as they are easy to make compared to traditional barks which were contributing to the deforestation of indigenous trees in Gokwe rural district.

Boarder Timbers Limited is a commercial timber processing company, contributed 60,000 tonnes of off cut and waste timber to youth training for rural economic empowerment in beekeeping in Gokwe South rural district. Border Timbers is a subsidiary of the Radar Group of companies and is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. The company has three divisions which are the Forestry, Saw milling and Manufacturing divisions. The forestry division manages a total of five estates .Tilbury; Charter and Sawerombe are in Chimanimani area to the South of the city of Mutare while Imbeza and Sheba are to the North in the Penhalonga area.