By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Significant increase in the production of honey and in the number of apiaries among amateur beekeepers has been observed in Azerbaijan since the Agriculture Ministry started granting subsidies to beekeepers.
Besides, assistance is also provided in other forms and by different sources to further improve this field of agriculture by giving impetus to entrepreneurs involved in this sphere.
Recently, in response to appeals of beekeeper entrepreneurs, the Agency for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) supported them in placing bee families in Kish village of Sheki region.
The main task of the Agency is ensuring the succession of reforms, improvement of the business regulation system, and application of effective coordination, enhancing the role and competitiveness of SMEs in the country's economy, as well as the compliance of the management system in this area with modern requirements.
The Agency told Trend that Friend of SMEs in Sheki region assisted two beekeeping entrepreneurs in receiving appropriate permission, collecting and submitting the necessary documents to the responsible structures for placing bee families in Kish village. The bee families were placed in the forest area of the village.
One of the beekeeping entrepreneurs Kazim Garayev said that he expects a high productivity from his beehives.
“I have been engaged in beekeeping for a long time, which is the major source of my income. The region’s Friend of SMEs supported me in receiving the appropriate permission to place bee families in the forest area,” Garayev noted.
Recently, the Agency for the Development of SMEs has also helped other beekeepers in providing support in issuing subsidies as well as organizing the sale of micro and small entrepreneurs in the retail network.
As an example, Kercom LLC’s difficulties in sales of honey and other beekeeping products in the distribution network were resolved with the support of the Agency. Currently, the company's products can already be found at the stores.
President Ilham Aliyev issued a decree on the appointment of subsidies for a period of 5 years (2018-2023) for individuals and legal entities involved in beekeeping in March this year.
In accordance with the decree, 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, a subsidy worth 10 manats ($5.88) per year for each bee family (beehive) will be paid during five years, including this year as well.
There are about 600 species of honey plants in Azerbaijan. The number of bee colonies increased in 2018 compared to 2017.
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, 3,000 tons of honey was produced in Azerbaijan. Some 65-70 percent of the country's population is provided with honey produced in the country.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz