By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Beekeeping is rapidly developing in Azerbaijan, and this is facilitated by state support.
Badraddin Hasratov, Chairman of the Management Board of Azerbaijan Beekeepers Association (ABA), told local media that the traditional honey fair in Baku will be held in early October.
He noted that it is planned to collect at least 500 tons of bee products in 2019.
Given that 300 tons of honey were collected in 2018, beekeepers are going to get 200 tons, or 67 percent, more this year.
Hasratov also said that beekeepers have already received the funds for the past year within the framework of the execution of the presidential order on subsidies for a period of five years from 2018 to persons engaged in beekeeping.
All the necessary documents for obtaining subsidies for 2019 by beekeepers have already been submitted, and it is expected to start payments in August, said the ABA chairman.
In accordance with the order, beekeepers receive subsidies from the state in the amount of 10 manats ($5.9) for the maintenance of each bee family. Today, beekeepers in Azerbaijan have about 500,000 bee families.
In 2015, beekeepers of Azerbaijan signed a protocol of intent to unite all beekeepers and organizations operating in this sector. On February 20, 2016, the Charter of the Azerbaijan Beekeepers Association was approved and the Association was created. In general, the Association includes more than 2,000 beekeepers and entrepreneurs from 52 regions of the country.
The purpose of the Association is the development of beekeeping, the solution of specific problems of beekeepers, and the development of a general concept of beekeeping.
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.
The main task nowadays is to increase the production of honey and export it to international markets under the ‘Made in Azerbaijan’ brand with the participation of local beekeepers.
The increase in export of bee products will bring great profit to the economy of Azerbaijan. The development of this area will provide employment to a large number of the population, and satisfy the needs of the country's inhabitants for beekeeping products.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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