By Laman Ismayilova
Famous for its beautiful nature, Gakh region has opened its doors for all sweets lovers.
Beekeepers and farmers gathered in the village of Lakit to present varieties of honey - soft honeycombs, royal jelly, medicinal propolis and others.
Honey festival was held under the motto "Ecology on guard of family health" with the aim to promote beekeeping products and development of agriculture.
The festival participants enjoyed delicious honey products and visited the exhibition and the open fair of handmade crafts and souvenirs. The event also provided an insight into health benefits of honey.
Master classes from beekeepers and a competition for the best honey cake were held. The winners was chosen by the guests of the festival. Famous national singer and dance ensembles performed at the festival.
Azerbaijan's most famous beekeeper Badraddin Khasratov said that beekeeping has become a profitable business as it is one of the state-supported agricultural sectors.
His farm is located in the picturesque village of Lakit, Gakh region. The farmer heads the Azerbaijan Beekeepers Association. He is also a member of the World Beekeepers Association.
He says that bee farming has become a profitable business for residents of the regions, because beekeeping is one of the state-supported agricultural sectors.
In Azerbaijan, there are about 600 species of honey plants, of which almost 200, as a source of nectar and pollen, create even greater natural opportunities for expanding beekeeping.
Beekeeping development can contribute to increasing the income of the rural population and ensuring its employment.
A number of measures have been implemented at the state level to develop beekeeping in the country.
Targeted measures are being taken in the field of expanding the practice of pedigree beekeeping, the creation of gene pool of bee farms, improving the quality control system of beekeeping products, organizing trade fairs, etc.
As a result of these measures, there has been a significant increase in the number of bee colonies, the production of honey and other beekeeping products and export of honey.
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.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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