The Prime Minister of Pakistan emphasized the need for promoting tree plantation to support production of Honey in the country under Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme (TBTTP), while inaugurating Spring Tree Plantation Campaign at Kundian Plantation on 23rd February, 2020. Accordingly, plantation of Kao, Phulai, Ber, Kikar and other bee flora is being encouraged under TBTTP. Meanwhile an exclusive analysis was conducted of Honey Production in the country to device a mechanism for encouraging promotion of bee flora, improving quality of honey production, providing livelihood to the bee keepers and sustain the activity through provision of financial resources.
It was estimated that about 10,000 bee keepers were using 300,000 colonies for producing 7,500 metric tons of honey annually. The potential can be enhanced to produce 70,000 metric tons of honey from the same harvest by using modern bee keeping gears, training on latest techniques, standardization / certification of the product and intensive marketing. It is anticipated that marketing of 70,000 metric tons of honey will generate an income of about Rs. 20-25 billion in the national economy and provide about 87,000 green jobs.
The ‘Billion Tree Honey Initiative’ was launched as a coherent effort of different Ministries/ Agencies to promote Apiculture in the country. It is estimated that the existing forest resource will increase to about 5.5 million hectares after addition of new areas being planted / regenerated under TBTTP by 2022-23. The requisite forest resource shall be used by the bee keepers to produce honey specific to particular flora and shall be branded accordingly.
The National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) shall provide training to the selected beekeepers alongwith technical support, follow-up of on-ground activities and product extraction. The certified bee keepers shall be provided financial support. The Ministry of Science and Technology shall be responsible for certifying the honey produced under the programme. The Ministry of Commerce shall patent the market brand of ‘Ten Billion Tree Honey’. A project shall soon be launched to undertake the initiative across country.