BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 31
By Eldar Janashvili - Trend:
The number of bee families (hives) in Azerbaijan increased significantly last year compared to 2018, exceeding 500,000, Chairman of the Azerbaijan Beekeepers Association Badraddin Hasratov told Trend Jan. 31.
For comparison, in 2018, there were a little less than 400,000 bee hives in Azerbaijan, said Hasratov. Accordingly, over the year, the number of hives in the country grew by more than a quarter, the chairman noted.
Hasratov added that on one hand, the increase in the number of hives by 100,000 is conditioned by the introduced subsidies in the amount of 10 manat for each bee family ($5.8). On the other hand, the successful practical work and training conducted by the association in the districts successfully influenced the growth of hives.
In parallel with the growth of bee families, the volume of honey produced in Azerbaijan increased, exceeding 5,000 tons, which fully satisfies the demand in the domestic market, Hasratov noted.
The chairman added that the export of honey in 2019 wasn’t as big as last year’s and was mainly focused on Arab countries.
“European countries don’t import animal products from Azerbaijan because of fears of getting low-quality products,” Hasratov said. “Nevertheless, Azerbaijan’s Food Safety Agency is carrying out the relevant work in this regard, and I hope that in 2020, it will be possible for our products to enter the European market.”
Noting the importance of entering the European market, Hasratov explained that this region has the highest level of honey consumption in the world.
The chairman also noted that in order to increase the export of national products, it is necessary to ensure the recognition of the Azerbaijani brand in the global honey market and certain work is being carried out in this direction, the volume of which, however, is still insufficient.
Concerning sales on the domestic market of the country, Hasratov said that there are certain obstacles in this direction because there is a great amount of counterfeit honey sold in bazaars, highways, street markets, etc.
“One of our main goals is to remove low-quality honey from the market, and we appealed to the Food Safety Agency on this issue,” the chairman explained.
Hasratov also noted that recently the import of honey has been rapidly increasing in Azerbaijan, and this adversely affects the volume of domestic sales of the Azerbaijan Beekeepers Association.
In this regard, it is advisable for the government to adopt the experience of leading countries such as Israel, Turkey and Croatia, which have limited the import of honey to promote sales growth of honey from local producers, said the chairman.
Moreover, the volume and quality of honey produced in Azerbaijan are fully consistent with domestic demand, Hasratov added.