Azerbaijan is able to double the production of honey, an official of the Agriculture Ministry said in his interview to the local media on August 22.
According to Chingiz Farajov, currently the country produces 2,500 tons of honey per year. However, there is potential for increasing the production up to 5,000 tons.
"Azerbaijan has rich flora and fauna, thanks to which the country has all possibilities for the development of apiculture," Farajov said.
Farajov went on to say that apiculture in Azerbaijan began to develop in recent years and this sector has become one of the leading fields of the economy in numerous regions of the country, in particular, Astara, Gadabay, Dashkesen and Zagatala.
Widespread in the mountainous regions of the country and adored for the nutritional and remedial qualities of honey, apiculture is a rapidly developing sector of the Azerbaijani economy.
Currently, 2,500 tons of honey are produced in Azerbaijan with over 240,000 beehives. Honey production is forecast to increase by 40,000 tons in the near future with a rise in the number of beehives of up to 500,000.
Azerbaijan produced 2,387 tons of honey in 2012, while the figure was 2,275 tons in 2011. Azerbaijan also imports honey from Russia and Turkey. However, experts believe that the domestic production meets the demand of the population.
According to the "Special Law on Apiculture", the main goals of the development of this field are increasing the productivity of beekeeping facilities, improvement in the quality of industrial processing and integration of the latest technologies in packaging and labeling.
Currently the National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support under the Azerbaijani Economic Development Ministry allocates loans to the farmers.
Moreover, the government provides concessional loans and tax exemptions to farmers engaged in apiculture in order to facilitate growth in the sector.
Fair of apiculture products
Every year Azerbaijan holds fairs of apicultural goods. In order to widely promote apiculture and to attract farmers to this field the Agriculture Ministry will hold the 14th fair of apiculture products at the seaport located near the Boulevard from September 5 till October 5.
The products will be tested at the state veterinary laboratory for free and certificates will be introduced before offering honey to customers.
One kilogram of honey will be sold for 15 manats at the fair.