The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MALI) on recently stressed on improving the honey business, quality and quantity, saying Afghanistan had the capacity of producing 11,000 tons of honey annually.
Nasir Ahmad Durani, agriculture minister, talking to a ceremony marking World Honey Bee Day, said that 214,000 bee boxes were currently put for honey collection in 32 provinces of the country.
Talking to beekeepers, he said, “Our honey production should be upgraded to international standards, we are cooperating with you in this area, our honey should be offered to international markets and its quality should be further improved,”
He said that a meeting to review beekeepers problems and finding solutions to them would be organized in the near future.
MALI has programs for finding markets for honey, increasing its production, encouraging the private sector for honey exports and providing modern facilities for beekeepers, Durani added without giving details.
He said the quality of Afghanistan honey was better compared to the foreign one, stressing Afghans should use domestic honey. “Using domestic honey would help improve its production and quality and encourage more people for investment in this area,”
However, a number of beekeepers complained about limited services in the beekeeping area by the government and honey in the market offered by unknown sources.
Abdul Rab Hamidi, Afghanistan Beekeepers Union head, said that sales of honey offered by unknown source to the market and with low quality faced beekeepers with problems. Such honey should be banned in the market.
He said the union in cooperation with the government and donor organizations would take steps for improvement of beekeeping and resolve problems in the regard.
Mohammad Edress Rauf, in charge of beekeeping project at MALI, said currently 6,100 beekeepers including 550 of them women in framework of eight cooperatives and 28 unions were busy across the country.
He said a large number of other people were individually busy in this industry.
In today’s ceremony, different types of honey were put on display in MALI exhibition hall.