CATCH THE BUZZ – Azerbaijan Beekeeping Doubles

Number of Beekeeping Farms Double in 2019

By: Rasana Gasimova

The number of beekeeping farms functioning in Azerbaijan doubled in 2019 compared to 2018, increasing from 270,000 to 501,000 farms, head of international cooperation department at Agriculture Ministry Esmira Latifova, said at the 6th International Beekeeping Conference held in Baku on January 25.

The country produced a total of 5,000 tonnes of honey from each bee family in 2019, which is 1.7 percent more than last year, Latifova said.

She also noted that in 2018, up to 18,000 beekeepers were provided with subsidies of 4 million manats ($2.3 million), adding that in 2019 this figure reached 4.8 million manats ($2.8 million) and the number of beekeepers increased from 18,000 to 20,000.

Beekeeping has always been an important area in Azerbaijan, she said, noting that lately interest to it has increased.

As part of the conference, professional beekeepers, scientists and entrepreneurs from Turkey, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Russia, Ukraine and other countries shared their experience with local beekeepers.

More than 20 honey producing companies from Azerbaijan, China, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey and other countries presented their products at the event.

Beekeeping occupies an inherent place in the development of the country’s agricultural sector. Over the past two years, significant steps were taken in this area.

Last year, the Agriculture Ministry provided Azerbaijani beekeepers with subsidies in the amount of more than 450,000 manats ($264,784).

According to the decision taken during the regular meeting of the Republican Commission for the payment of subsidies, subsidies were allocated for each beehive, which is kept by individuals and legal entities involved in the sector.

In 2018, the government granted beekeepers with subsidies of 10 manats ($6) for each beehive for five years to stimulate the development of beekeeping in the country, support small businesses and employ individuals and legal entities engaged in beekeeping in rural areas.

There are about 600 species of honey plants in Azerbaijan, of which almost 200, as a source of nectar and pollen, create even greater natural opportunities for the development of beekeeping.

Annual honey production in the country is 3,000 tons, and honey consumption is 5,000 tons. Most of bee families are located in Zagatala, Astara, Gakh, Lerik and Balakan.