USAID SCORE in Sri Lanka Promotes Beekeeping as an Innovative Way to Mitigate Human-elephant Conflict and Improve Local Livelihoods

Following the community resettlement in 2010, frequent incidents of elephants raiding crops in the Paddikudiyeruppu GN division in Vavuniya North in Sri Lanka have resulted in a number of human casualties as well as severe economic consequences due to crop losses.

To mitigate the consequences arising from the human-elephant conflict, the Paddikudiyeruppu community suggested engaging in beekeeping as a cost-effective, non-violent and sustainable solution to the problem. The activity was put forward by the Paddikudiyeruppu Co Existence Society as a community-driven solution, whereby active bee hives placed around crops would act as a deterrent to elephants, reduce crop-raiding and ensure a steady source of income for the farmers. Beekeeping activities would also enhance rural livelihoods through honey sales, reduce retaliatory wildlife killings, and settle the human-elephant conflict on a wider scale.

Following a series of training programs on beekeeping facilitated by USAID SCORE, which is implemented by Global Communities in Sri Lanka, the sub-grantee Rural Development Foundation (RDF) organized a visit of 15 beneficiaries to the Keerisuddan village in Kilinochchi. The goal of the visit was for participants to observe a successful beekeeping project initiated by the Government for low-income families. 

As part of the SCORE intervention, beneficiaries of the training program were given beehive boxes with a queen bee which were designed for home beekeeping. Participants hope to harvest natural honey from this process and further engage in commercial beekeeping activities.