By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Significant increase in the production of honey and in the number of apiaries has been observed in Azerbaijan since the Agriculture Ministry granted subsidies to local beekeepers.
The Agriculture Ministry has told Trend that those subsidies which were not granted to Azerbaijan’s beekeeping farms in 2018, will be allocated this year.
A representative of the ministry said that a regular meeting of the republican commission for issuing subsidies to individuals and legal entities involved in beekeeping has been held by the ministry and it was decided that a number of individuals and legal entities who submitted documents at the end of last year but did not receive subsidies because the identification of bee colonies was not completed, will receive them in the amount of 910,460 manats ($535,565) for 91,046 bee colonies in 2019.
This decision will affect 4,507 beekeepers and beekeeping farms in 842 administrative territories.
The decision made at the meeting was forwarded to the Finance Ministry and the State Center for Agriculture Development.
In accordance with the decree of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev dated March 5, 2018, subsidies worth 10 manats per year for each bee colony will be paid during five years in order to stimulate the development of beekeeping in the country, support small businesses and provide employment in rural areas to individuals and legal entities involved in beekeeping.
Speaking about integration of this field of Azerbaijani agriculture to world markets , it should be noted that the 5th Azerbaijan International Conference of Beekeepers was held in Baku on January 26-27, where representatives from Germany, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and Georgia came to share their experience with local beekeepers.
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 expansion of beekeeping.
The number of bee colonies increased in 2018 compared to 2017. According to the available data, there were 300,000 bee colonies in Azerbaijan. However, presently, there are 400,000 bee colonies and grants have been given for the maintenance of 270,000 of them. It is expected that the number of colonies will soon reach 500,000-600,000.
In 2018, as much as 3,000 tons of honey was produced in Azerbaijan. About 65-70 percent of the country's population is provided with honey of local production.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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