BEIJING: Pakistani honey production has the potential to increase tenfold, according to a report released by the China-Pakistan Agriculture and Industrial Information Cooperation Platform (CAPIC) Noted.
In Pakistan, the honey industry has a good reputation and huge potential to make people’s lives sweeter. Endowed with rich species of bees and flowering plants, Pakistan can and must do more in this industry.
Honey produced in Pakistan is recognized as one of the most valuable types of honey in the world. Studies have proven that the quality of Pakistan’s most natural raw honey meets all the requirements of international standards.
But the potential of this lucrative industry has not been fully unlocked, limited by low yield and low prices. In 2019, each beekeeper brought an average of 11.7 kg of honey to Pakistan, compared to the global average of 20.6 kg.
Nectar-bearing plants victims of pesticides, the lack of modern technology and the lack of a certification system add a bitter taste to beekeeping, CEN reported.
In this regard, China’s experience deserves to be used. China has been the world’s largest producer of honey for all these years. With the promulgation of national support policies for professional beekeepers’ cooperatives and the gradual adoption of scientific beekeeping, the beekeeping sector is getting organized and developing more and more.
As noted in the CPAIC report, many local governments in China have chosen beekeeping since 2013 as a method of poverty reduction and rural revitalization. China is willing to share experiences and techniques with Pakistan on large-scale beekeeping, cultivation of nectar plants, bee rearing, etc.
In Pakistan, honey exports represent only 20 percent of total production. If the industry is modernized, sales will increase by about 20 times.
While introducing techniques and production methods from China, Pakistan can export by-products to the Chinese market such as bees milk and beeswax, which can create values ââmuch higher than honey.
“The government can intervene in beekeeping areas, develop the industry value chain and connect beekeepers to regional and national markets,” notes the CPAIC report.
Studies have shown that more than 59 percent of beekeepers sell their honey to merchants who come to the beekeeping area from other regions, and 32 percent sell their honey directly in the local market. In both scenarios, the prices that beekeepers get are quite low.
Eventually, traders will buy honey from middlemen and sell it at a relatively high price. Only 9 percent of beekeepers sell their honey directly to traders.
The report also suggests integrating brand awareness and standardized packaging methods into the development of the overall value chain. About 96 percent of beekeepers lack the proper branding and packaging when selling honey, which can lead to non-compliance with applicable standards.
Managing beekeepers is also an important step in improving honey production. In China, beekeepers who join cooperatives earn 20% more than those who do not.
In Pakistan, advice should be provided to businesses and individual beekeepers to help honey products meet international standards and consumer expectations.
FAO statistics show that around 390,000 people in Pakistan are involved in beekeeping. They produce more than 4,000 tonnes of honey per year. However, if modern production technologies and standard production procedures are adopted, the country’s honey production is expected to reach 70,000 tons / year and create around 87,000 green jobs.