Marketplace Ministry, Updates

Stingless bees, a sweet project in Bicol

Throughout 2017 we have been travelling to Bicol, a peninsula on the southern tip of Luzon Island, in order to support work being done to reach out to the Agta people. Landless people, the Agta tribal people live a subsistence life, often as day labourers. Working with local partners we helped to develop a business model that has introduced bee hives to the community.


Bee hives can be split, allowing for a growth model that doesn’t require funding support from they outside, building up a business over time. The hives can also be moved if the family is expelled from the land and can be placed in a hollow during a typhoon, both real issues for these people. A stingless bee variety, the honey has a significant market potential that exceeds the level of production the project could ever hope to manage.

While the hives are being split and the people are being trained, we are developing a second, parallel business model that is developing the production and marketing of the honey. In order for the Agta people to receive fair and timely compensation for their work, there needs to be a developed business model that can accommodate their honey quickly and profitably. The parallel business will produce a stable supply of honey that can serve to fulfil contracts and grow the market over time. The Agta people will have access to these markets as they grow their own production, freeing them from the burden of marketplace development that can stifle startups and slow growth. Eventually, should they choose, they can further develop their own businesses with training that will be made available. There is much potential for growth should people choose to participate. This really is a sweet project!


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