Azer­bai­jani honey con­sid­ered to be pre­mium

Azer News - - Business - By Sara Is­rafil­bay­ova

BRe­cent re­searches show that the prod­ucts of the bee­keep­ing in­dus­try have a sig­nif­i­cant demand both in­side of the coun­try and abroad.

Pub­lic or­ga­ni­za­tions play a sig­nif­i­cant role in in­creas­ing honey pro­duc­tion. In par­tic­u­lar, the As­so­ci­a­tion of Bee­keep­ers of Azer­bai­jan un­der Azer­bai­jan Ex­port and In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tion Foun­da­tion (AZPROMO) was cre­ated, which aims to as­sist bee­keep­ers in the pro­duc­tion process, co­or­di­nate the ac­tiv­i­ties of en­trepreneurs and en­sure op­er­a­tional in­ter­ac­tion with govern­ment agen­cies.

Chair­man of the As­so­ci­a­tion Badraddin Has­ra­tov told Az­ernews that there are more than 6,000 bee­keep­ers in the coun­try, which pro­duced 3,000 tons of honey this year, while last year the in­di­ca­tor was equaled to 2,700 tons.

“The Azer­bai­jani honey is con­sid­ered to be pre­mium, which is used for medic­i­nal pur­poses,” said the chair­man.

He went on to say that lo­cal honey is made of more than 600 species of wild plants and is val­ued in the world mar­ket.

“This year, the coun­try has sold 6,000 tons of honey to Ja­pan and sent 450 kg to Qatar with the aim to check if Azer­bai­jani honey will be in demand there,” he said.

Has­ra­tov men­tioned that the demand for honey in Azer­bai­jan is 4,500-5,000 tons, and about 3,000 tons are pro­duced. “This sug­gests that bee­keep­ing in the coun­try needs to be de­vel­oped in or­der to elim­i­nate im­ports,” he con­cluded.

To sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of bee­keep­ing, about 400 en­trepreneurs re­ceived over 4.7 mil­lion man­ats ($2.76 mil­lion) of soft loans in 2016.

The rich cli­mate of sub­trop­ics, the ri­otous di­ver­sity of flora and the valu­able qual­i­ties of lo­cal bees - these are the fa­vor­able nat­u­ral con­di­tions of Azer­bai­jan, which con­tributed to the main­te­nance of the cen­turies-old tra­di­tion of bee­keep­ing in Tran­scau­ca­sia.

Dur­ing the ex­ca­va­tion in The Azokh Cave, where one of the most an­cient set­tle­ments of the prim­i­tive man was dis­cov­ered, a bowl with the bee de­picted on it was found, which once again proves that bee­keep­ing has deep roots in Azer­bai­jan.

An api­ary or­ga­nized in Mughan at the Cau­casian silk­worm sta­tion in 1889 be­came the cen­ter of ra­tio­nal bee­keep­ing for the en­tire Tran­scau­ca­sia.

From 1990 to 1999, bee­keep­ing in the coun­try de­creased by 45 per­cent. There were many rea­sons for that. Most api­aries were de­stroyed in the area of mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions.

Cur­rently, the Azer­bai­jani govern­ment does all its best to con­trib­ute to the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of bee­keep­ing with cre­at­ing fa­vor­able con­di­tions for bee­keep­ers.

Tarzan Nazirov, whose fam­ily has been en­gaged in bee­keep­ing for more than 20 years can be set as a good ex­am­ple. Cur­rently, he has 32 bee fam­i­lies, known as the ‘south­ern type’ and re­ceives 500 kilo­grams of high-qual­ity honey a year.

The big­gest prob­lem, ac­cord­ing to the farmer is the sale of this prod­uct: “In many cases, buy­ers had doubts about the qual­ity of honey. But thanks to the sup­port of ABAD, we are con­vinced that our honey, sold un­der the name ‘Shanli’, will take a wor­thy place in the mar­ket.”

An­other prob­lem was re­lated to the pack­ag­ing of honey, which was also solved with the help of ABAD.

In Septem­ber 2016, “Sim­pli­fied sup­port to fam­ily busi­ness” (ABAD) un­der the State Agency for Pub­lic Ser­vice and So­cial In­no­va­tions op­er­at­ing un­der the Pres­i­dent of the Re­pub­lic of Azer­bai­jan (ASAN) was cre­ated in or­der to sup­port the ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion of cit­i­zens in the so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of Azer­bai­jan, the de­vel­op­ment of small and medi­um­sized en­ter­prises (SME), in­crease of em­ploy­ment of the pop­u­la­tion.

The main task nowa­days is to in­crease the pro­duc­tion of honey and ex­port it through par­tic­i­pa­tion of bee­keep­ers in in­ter­na­tional mar­kets un­der the ‘Made in Azer­bai­jan’ brand.

Ear­lier, Econ­omy Min­istry said that the de­vel­op­ment strat­egy of the in­dus­try is aimed pri­mar­ily at a com­plete sub­sti­tu­tion of im­ports by do­mes­tic pro­duc­tion, as well as a num­ber of mea­sures to in­crease the ex­port of Azer­bai­jani honey.

To­day, na­tional bee­keep­ers par­tic­i­pated in the ex­port mis­sion of Azer­bai­jan to Dubai (the UAE) last Novem­ber. As a re­sult, ne­go­ti­a­tions on the re­ceived ap­pli­ca­tion of Azer­bai­jani honey sup­plies to the UAE mar­ket are un­der­way.

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