Honey production can increase 10 times in Pakistan: report

Honey production can increase 10 times in Pakistan: report

Honey production can increase 10 times in Pakistan: report

BEIJING: The production of Pakistani honey has the potential to rise 10 times, a report released by the China-Pakistan Agricultural and Industrial Information Cooperation Platform (CAPIC) noted.

In Pakistan, the honey industry has a favourable reputation and huge potential in making people’s life sweeter. Endowed with rich bee species and flower plants, Pakistan can and should go further in this industry.

The honey produced in Pakistan is recognised as one of the most valuable types of honey in the world. The studies have proven that the quality of most natural raw honey of Pakistan meets all the requirements of international standards.

But the potential of this lucrative industry has not been fully unleashed restricted by low yield and low prices. In 2019, each beekeeper brought 11.7kg of honey in Pakistan on an average, while the world average is 20.6kg.

Nectariferous plants falling victim to pesticides, absence of modern technologies, and the lack of certification system are adding a taste of bitter to apiculture, the CEN reported.


In this regard, China’s experience is worth being drawn on. China has been the largest honey producer in the world all these years. With the promulgation of the national policies on supporting beekeepers’ professional cooperatives and the gradual adoption of scientific beekeeping, the beekeeping industry is increasingly organised and scaled up.

As stated in the CPAIC report, a lot of local governments in China have chosen apiculture since 2013 as a method of poverty alleviation and rural revitalisation. China is willing to share experiences and techniques with Pakistan on a large-scale apiculture, nectariferous plant growing, bee breeding, etc.

In Pakistan, honey exports only take up 20 per cent of the total production. If the industry is modernised, the sales will boost by around 20 times.

While introducing techniques and production modes from China, Pakistan can export byproducts to the Chinese market such as bee milk and beeswax, which can create far higher values than honey.

“The government can intervene in beekeeping areas, develop the industry value chain, and connect beekeepers with regional and national markets,” the CPAIC report noted.

Studies have found that more than 59 per cent of the beekeepers sell their honey to merchants who come to the beekeeping area from other areas, and 32 per cent directly sell their honey in the local market. In both scenarios, the prices the beekeepers get are rather low.


Eventually, the traders will buy honey from the middlemen and sell them at a relatively high price. Only 9 per cent of the beekeepers directly sell their honey to traders.

The report also suggests incorporating brand awareness and standardised packaging methods into the development of the overall value chain. Around 96 per cent of the beekeepers do not have proper branding and packaging when selling honey, which can lead to non-compliance with the relevant standards.

The beekeepers’ management is also an important step to enhance honey production. In China, the beekeepers who join cooperatives earn 20 per cent more than those who do not.

In Pakistan alike, guidance should be provided to the companies and individual beekeepers to help the honey products meet international standards and consumers’ expectations.

The FAO statistics show that around 390,000 people in Pakistan are involved in beekeeping. They produce over 4,000 tonnes of honey annually. However, if modern production technologies and standard production procedures are adopted, the country’s honey production is expected to surge to 70,000 tonnes/annum and create around 87,000 green jobs.

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