RAWALPINDI: Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Mohammad Mehboob Sultan on Tuesday said Pakistan produced more than 12,000 tons honey annually.
Addressing as a chief guest at a ceremony held in connection with honey festival at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University the minister called for enhancing the capacity of the professionals and beekeepers to produce good quality honey.
MNA Nafeesa Khattak was the guest of honour.
The arid university’s dean of the Faculty of Crop and Food Sciences Dr Fayyazul Hassan, dean Faculty of Forestry & Range Management and chairman Department of Entomology Dr Attaul Mohsin, faculty members, bee keepers and students were also present at the inaugural session.
The festival was organised by the Department of Entomology in collaboration with Agri Tourism Development Corporation of Pakistan (ATDCP) with an aim to promote honey, honey bees, their products and beekeeping through this unique educational platform to the public.
The event had provided a platform to the scientists, beekeepers, bee product marketing companies, growers, potential stakeholders in government, NGOs and students to share their views and ideas regarding uplift of beekeeping sector in Pakistan.
The minister said honey production was a very useful business and Pakistan had great potential to produce prime quality of honey by establishing standards and new habitats.
“Integrated efforts through capacity building for hygienic and up to mark production not only flourish beekeeping industry in Pakistan but also lead country towards economic progress through foreign earnings,” he said.
He highlighted the major issues such as deforestation, indiscriminate use of pesticides, climate change effects as well as bee colony problems.
He recommended that to identify the favorable situations and suitable areas, regional survey must be conducted within country to help the beekeepers.
He asked the private sector to come forward and develop joint initiatives for promotion of bees in the agricultural system. He appreciated that the university was playing a vital role in boosting beekeeping sector in Pakistan.
The chief guest, other dignitaries and participants also visited the stalls displayed outside the main auditorium.
Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2019