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Pakistan

Fakhar for exploring beekeeping potential to achieve sustainable, climate friendly agriculture

  • Imam stressed the need for planting herbs and vegetables to ensure food for bees as well as for humans that could also help in pollination.
Published May 20, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam on Thursday reiterated the governments resolve for exploiting bee farming potential in order to promote climate friendly sustainable agriculture development in the country.

Addressing the International Honey Bee Conference on Bee Pollination Under Climate Change Scenario, which was organized by the University of Agriculture Multan, Imam said that Pakistan has great potential for beekeeping due to a diverse bee flora and suitable environmental conditions.

Honeybees are an essential component of modern agriculture and economy, he said adding that beekeeping and honey production is becoming a profitable business in Pakistan, which was also an eco-friendly practice.

Pakistan has three species of native Apis and one exotic honeybee, he said adding that currently there are about 10,000 beekeepers in Pakistan managing almost1.1 million Apis mellifera colonies.

Annual honey production in the country was estimated at about 15,750 metric tons, he said adding that Pakistan ranks 20th in the world for honey production and 34th in honey export.

He informed that beekeeping in Pakistan is mainly focused in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and central and north regions of Punjab but nowadays it is growing rapidly due to the demand of honey and its byproducts locally and internationally.

As one of the most important pollinators in the world, bees are crucial for food production, human livelihood and biodiversity, he said adding that total economic value of pollination of crops worldwide has been estimated at 156 billion euros per year.

However, he said that climate change has negative impacts to the productivity of honeybees such as altering plant flowering time, increasing water stress especially in situations of drought,adding that inhibiting movement affecting bee communications, causing physical damage of hives, colony starvation and retarding bee forage activities.

He stressed the need for making proper interventions in order to enhance pollination by growing more flowers, shrubs and trees that provide nectar and pollen as food for bees and other pollinators throughout the year.

Imam further stressed the need for planting herbs and vegetables to ensure food for bees as well as for humans that could also help in pollination.

He asked for reducing use of chemicals in crops to control pests and adopting methods like physically removing pests or using barriers to deter them and encouraging the pollination through beekeeping.

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