A group of 14 businesswomen from the UK food industry is returning to Tanzania to build 120 Langsroth bee hives over three days to support female farmers living in the remote Nou Forest.

In 2015 the group built 90 beehives in three days during the Big Beehive Build.

The hives will be used by women from the local Bermi beekeeping group to build sustainable honey farming businesses that give them a steady income as well as an incentive to protect the forest by planting fruit trees to attract more bees.

The 300 sq km Nou Forest where they live, which is noted for its biodiversity of plant, animal and insect life, has suffered severe deforestation in recent years.

Harvesting honey brings local women a new and valuable source of income, which enables them to pay for food, medicines and school fees for their children.

Joyce Lali, 45, from Erri village in Manyara, is one of the women who set up a honey production business after receiving beehives that were built by the challenge group in 2015. She said: "I would like to thank the Big Beehive Build group for coming to Erri and giving us the beehives. It is something that has given real value to our lives. I send special appreciation for making us women seen. Before, we were invisible in the community. You have helped us increase the value of females in the community. Before, we were oppressed by men and we didn’t earn any of our own money. Now, I earn my own money and I can buy the things I need myself."

Regina Alfred, 45, from Bermi village, who will receive some of the beehives the challenge group build this year, said: "I didn’t use to have much capability to help my children but I have tried my best to help them get somewhere in life. The money from this year’s honey harvest will pay for my daughter to go to school. I have nothing more to say to the Big Beehive Build team than to say a big thank you."

Between 14 October 2017 and 14 January 2018 donations in support of the Big Beehive Build will go to Farm Africa’s Growing Futures appeal that will help young farmers living in western Kenya develop sustainable horticulture businesses. Gifts from individuals based in the UK will be doubled by the government through UK Aid Match, meaning gifts will go twice as far.

Farm Africa head of fundraising Jenni Bright said: "Tanzania loses around 370,000 hectares of forest a year – that’s 1,000 football fields every day. By helping local communities make money from forest-friendly businesses like honey production, Farm Africa not only helps local communities escape poverty, we help protect the forests for generations to come."

Judith Batchelar is leading the group. She said: "Monday 16 October is World Food Day, so it’s a fitting day for us, as representatives of the British food industry, to travel to Tanzania to support the development of sustainable food businesses in one of the world’s poorest countries. I’m especially pleased that we’re helping local women thrive in business. 120 beehives in three days? No problem, I can taste the sweet taste of success already!”