JWANENG: Many know honey as the sticky sweet fluid made by bees, but Serefete Ramantsima and his partner, Gothaamang Tukisi, have gone an extra mile to make good use of it. They use the honey to make bee’s wax.
After extracting honey, he cooks the residue and mixes it with other ingredients to make body lotions, bath soaps and lip balms.
They started from humble beginnings in 2006, when they were funded through the then Bee Farmers Demonstrators (BFD), seconded to the Poverty Eradication Programme, to start beekeeping in Jwaneng.
His dream came true when he was offered business mentorship by the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) to improve his business skills and they never looked back and registered Real Tasty Products Company.
Currently keeping hives at Ga-Mokgeleo farms near Moatle, Ramantsima says their distribution points lead to different places, which include Gaborone. He spoke fondly of Botswanacraft for giving him a platform to advertise their products at their monthly market day.
He, however, mentions that the vegetation at his farm is not suitable and he is looking for a better place to move the hives to. As the chairman of Beekeeping Association Committee in the Southern region, Ramantsima is optimistic that with more farmers
“Beekeeping is a fruitful business and we have harvested 60kg of honey between January and April and our wish is to reach half a tonne,” he explained.
He emphasised that there is need for openness and ability to learn and share business skills in order to succeed.
Ramantsima, who is a process controller at Jwaneng Mine, said that although he has a full time job, he is driven by passion to do beekeeping. With the limited resources available, Ramantsima’s dream is to find a better space to operate and share skills with other aspiring farmers.
He advised other aspiring farmers that the time is always right to turn passion into business and make ends meet. He encouraged the youth to take advantage of available funding programmes and seek business knowledge and skills from veterans to diversify the economy and ultimately eradicate poverty.