Paktia honey traders seek access to market
GARDEZ (PAN): Beekeepers in southeastern Paktia province have been able to increase honey production and maintain high quality because of easy access to a variety of juicy flowers, but they lack access to foreign markets and face a lukewarm response from authorities.
Ajmal Ahmadzai, who has been in the business over the past five years, said there was no honey-processing facility in the province. He alleged some beekeepers compromised honey quality through adulteration.
Honey Traders Association chief, Eng. Bahai Jan, said the yield, which remained between 10 and 15 tonnes two years ago, had jumped to 50 tonnes.
Jan accused the government of failing to provide beekeepers with the kind of assistance they needed, except a few hives, training courses and medicine.
Agriculture and Livestock Director Niaz Mohammad Lalai Zadran said his department had tried its level best to find foreign markets for honey produced in Paktia, but to no avail.
He added no chance had been missed to put on display honey produced in Paktia at exhibitions across the country. Some provinces had modern technology for beekeeping, but Paktia remained deprived of that facility.
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries representatives in Paktia acknowledged honey production had risen but grumbled market access remained elusive.
The chamber’s head for Paktia, Abdul Nasir Elamyar, said he planned to showcase locally-produced honey at foreign exhibitions and that currently he was in contact with the Afghan ambassador to Kuwait in this regard.
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