Beekeeping Consultancy Terms of Reference
Market and prospect buyer research study for miombo-based honey and beekeeping by-products from Forest and Landscape Restoration projects in Copperbelt and Muchinga provinces, Zambia

WeForest and WeForest Zambia

WeForest is a fast-growing international non-profit association headquartered in Belgium and with current Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR) projects in Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Tanzania, Malawi, Senegal and Zambia. The mission of the organisation is to advance innovative, scalable and lasting solutions to restore forest and landscapes for climate, people and planet. We promote scientific evidence for the ways in which forests contribute to climate change mitigation, beyond their impacts as stocks of carbon, by increasing water availability, enhancing local biodiversity conservation and rural livelihood and resilience.

WeForest has been working in Zambia since 2011 on various topics including agroforestry, farm forestry and community forest management. WeForest Zambia Ltd was established in 2019 with six projects running at the moment: two in the Copperbelt and four in Muchinga province. 

Support to forest and farm-based livelihoods to reverse forest degradation is a core part of WeForest Zambia’s programme. Since 2015, WeForest Zambia has worked with more than 1000 farmers in Copperbelt province to set up efficient miombo forest honey production systems on farm forests and inside Katanino Forest Reserve – amongst other achievements. WeForest Zambia is currently preparing to scale up its’ operations in Muchinga province to support a range of local organisations to become viable and financially independent forest enterprises through beekeeping and other forest or farm-based value chains.  

  • The Copperbelt project, which started in 2015, aims to reduce deforestation amongst small-holder farm land in Luanshya, Mpongwe and Ndola districts by introducing the concept of Farm Forestry and Community Forest Management. As we work through farmers’ associations, approximately 3,500 ha is conserved with over 1,000 farmers.
  • The Katanino project, which started in 2019, aims to increase forest cover inside the 4,500ha Katanino Forest Reserve and Miombo woodlots in a 5km buffer zone around the Reserve by working with small-scale farmers. We work through the Joint Forest Management Committee.
  • The Chintumukulu project, which started in 2020, aims to establish and functionalize a community conservancy of 8,400 ha and support sustainable income sources to run the conservancy in the long-term. A partnership has been set up with the community-run Mpumba Natural Resource Society.
  • The Mafinga project, which started in 2021, aims to establish and functionalize a community forest area of 1,500 ha and empower communities through more sustainable farming methods to reduce pressure on the remaining forest. This project is in direct partnership with WECSZ.
  • In the Mukungule project, which started in 2022, WeForest Zambia plays an expert and implementing role to upscale beekeeping in Mukungule chiefdom. It is a USAID co-funded 5-year project managed by Frankfurt Zoological Society
  • The Mpumba community forest areas (CFAs) project started in Q3 2022 and aims to capacitate the Community Forest Management group with good governance and forest management practices, as well as support the communities around the CFAs with diversified livelihoods, including beekeeping.

Justification for the study

WeForest Zambia has been supporting the setting up of honey production systems across two projects in Copperbelt province, and recently scaled up operations to Muchinga province, where beekeeping will play a central part in our new projects.

Beekeeping in farm forests, forest reserves and in community forest areas constitutes a core component of our long-term strategies to reverse the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, providing an alternative to unsustainable forest livelihoods, incentivising sustainable forest management and providing an important source of income for institutions in charge of forest management such as Community Forest Management Groups (CFMGs). Honey production, transportation and sales are centralised and coordinated through a bee mentor system and WeForest’s partner organisations. These centralised systems have allowed for more consistent quality and access to more profitable markets.

The combined production of raw miombo honey from WeForest’s Copperbelt projects alone has gradually increased, from 11 tons in 2019 to more than 50 tons in 2022 and is projected to increase further. However, while the production capacity has seen a steady progression over the years in terms of yields, access to reliable and profitable markets remains a challenge. This study will therefore be critical in informing our beekeeping strategies and investments for the next 5-10 years.

Key questions for the study

These questions are shared to provide background to the consultant(s). The latter are expected to develop their own questions for the assignment.

  • Markets: What are the trends? What markets exist for honey and by-products? Who are the most important buyers (local, international)? What are their prices and requirements (e.g. in terms of certification, quality, volumes…)? How to best approach these buyers? How to reduce volatility in price?
  • Challenges restricting investment: why is there no investment or low investment? What can WeForest do to stimulate investment in bee-keeping or how can we structure our support as an incentive to crowd-in other market actors?
  • Strategies to be assessed will include, amongst other options: production, processing, value addition and sales models, equipment and input supply (hives, queen rearing…), organic and fairtrade certification schemes, development of by-products (beeswax, propolis…).

Scope, objectives and expected results of the study

Scope: Production of raw miombo honey and by-products from all projects directly implemented by WeForest Zambia with beekeeping components: 2 projects in Copperbelt province, and 3 projects in Muchinga province.

Overall objective: To propose practical, market-driven solutions to sustainably and substantially increase the beekeeping-based incomes of farmers, mentors and forest management organisations involved in beekeeping.

Specific objectives:

  1. Review of current sales model: past agreements with buyers, quality of honey, logistics, prices…
  2. Market study including prospection: Identification of potential local and international buyers and organisations that have an interest in Zambian miombo honey and by-products, their contact details, price, their desired quality standards, buying frequencies and volume requirements; where buyers/organisations are based and where they usually buy; detailed assessment of market including trends, opportunities and risks. A range of relevant market players will be considered, including private sector and market access/producer organisations.
  3. Formulate practical recommendations based on findings for short-, medium- and long-term market-driven strategies with a high-level assessment of costs, incomes, margins, financing and cash flow plans. Recommendations must include 1-2 lead firms/organisations which WeForest could work with to unlock market access.

Methodology and Activities

WeForest will provide:

  • Project documents, studies, report and most recent harvest, sales and production data
  • Samples of latest harvest (raw honey)
  • Access to production sites and key players involved (e.g. bee mentors, project managers and extensionists…), only if necessary as this study is focused on the market rather than on production.

The consultant is expected to develop and propose their own methodology using tools and frameworks recommended by international best practices.

  1. Preparation: start up meeting, desk research
  2. Market research and buyer prospection
  3. Report and validation
    1. Preliminary report for review by WeForest
    2. Final report: incorporating WeForest feedback
    3. Online presentation and in-person workshop: To present findings to WeForest and relevant stakeholders

Deliverables and timeframe

Key findings will be compiled, analysed and clearly presented in a final, structured report, which will include the consultant’s key findings, results and recommendations, as well as a complete list of prospect buyers, their contact details and other relevant information as stated in the objectives. All deliverables will be submitted to WeForest in English in soft copy, as modifiable versions.

The consultancy will ideally start as soon as possible in May 2023. The final version of the report will need to be submitted at the latest by 30th June 2023. The consultancy should not last more than 20 days of effective work.

Consultant profile specifications


  • At least [10] years of practical experience in market studies and prospection
  • Understanding of markets for beekeeping products in the Zambian context
  • Expertise in relevant methodologies relating to market research and business prospection
  • Experience of working in private sector and in rural settings
  • Understanding of challenges relating to market access in rural areas


  • Academic background in relevant topics eg. Economics, Management, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Rural development

How to apply

Consultants may apply individually or as teams. In the case of teams, roles & responsibilities should be clearly presented. Applicants are invited to submit their offers by 5th May 2023 at the latest at the following address:, indicating the reference “Beekeeping Consultancy proposal” in the email subject. Offers must include:
– A technical offer (no more than 3 pages)
– A financial offer including daily rates and travel costs with a clear separation between the two phases
– Consultant’s CVs demonstrating their ability to fulfil the study
– At least two professional references
– One or two studies or reports produced and written by the consultant(s) for similar tasks, as examples