By Leman Mammadova
Azerbaijan is expanding the list of destinations for honey export.
The negotiations on honey export to Jordan are currently underway, Badraddin Hasratov, Chairman of Azerbaijan Beekeepers Association, told Trend.
In his words, Azerbaijan increased honey export compared to last year. “We exported 6 tons of honey to Japan in 2018, and this year the volume reached 8 tons.”
In particular, Azerbaijan delivered 850 kg of honey to the Arab countries. Jordan will be also included to the list this year, he stressed.
He pointed out that the negotiations are about to end and the export of 500 kg of honey to Jordan is expected soon. “The honey will be sent as a sample, and if we receive positive feedback, the cooperation will continue.”
Hasratov further added that the Association intends to double the number of bee families. “The number of bee families has increased by 100,000 this year, compared to 2018. Currently, there are 500,000 bee families in Azerbaijan, but we want to raise that number to 1 million.”
He noted that honey production has also increased this year. “If last year we received 8-10 kilograms of honey from each bee family, this year it was 15 kg.”
He said that this is due both to the natural process and to the improvement of the skills of beekeepers.
Last year Azerbaijan exported 8.3 tons of honey worth $71,500, which is 1.8 tons more than in the previous year. In particular, 96.4 percent of exported honey accounted for Japan.
Currently, Azerbaijan is doing its best to contribute to the further development of beekeeping by creating favorable conditions for 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 development of beekeeping.
Most of the bee families are located in Zagatala (17,097), Astara (12,429), Gakh (9,125), Lerik (8,669) and Balakan (8,581) regions.
Beekeepers have been granted subsidies of 10 manats ($6) for each beehive for five years under the order "On stimulating the development of beekeeping in Azerbaijan" dated March 5, 2018. The aim is to stimulate the development of beekeeping in the country, to support small businesses and to employ individuals and legal entities engaged in beekeeping in rural areas.
Azerbaijan produced 3,000 tons of honey in 2018. Some 65-70 percent of the country's population is provided with domestically-produced honey.
In addition, the number of bee colonies increased in 2018 compared to 2017. Presently, there are 400,000 bee colonies in the country and grants have been issued for the maintenance of 270,000 of them. The number of colonies is expected to reach 500,000-600,000 in the near future.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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