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Pakistan PM Imran Khan announces massive honey production initiative

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has launched a “Billion Tree Honey” initiative hoping to increase the country’s forest cover with a focus on the production of honey while creating new green jobs and improving the country’s economy.

Sweet ambitions

Imran Khan revealed the country’s sweet ambitions at the launch ceremony saying the honey production drive would “benefit the local community” where the plantation will take place and “also help improve the environment, enhance exports, and create job opportunities for the youth.” “When local people will see the benefits and earn income, they will protect forests more than anyone,” he said.

Thousands of new jobs

‘Billion Tree Honey Initiative’ intends to market 70,000 metric tons of honey to generate an income of around Rs43 billion and create around 87,000 green jobs. Currently, an estimated 10,000 Pakistani beekeepers are using 300,000 colonies for producing 7,500 metric tons of honey annually.

Improved beekeeping technology

The project aims to produce 70,000 metric tons of honey by introducing modern beekeeping gear, training on the latest techniques, standardisation and certification of the product and intensive marketing. “The beekeepers will be trained and proper branding and quality certifications will help improve the value of the country’s honey in the international market,” said Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam. Agreements were also signed among various organisations at the ceremony to promote beekeeping and tree plantation in the country.

Empower communities

The project, which is part of Clean and Green Pakistan, aims to promote environmental awareness through multipurpose bee forage plantation and empower communities on improved beekeeping practices and honey production. Under the project, the plantation of trees including Kao, Phulai, Ber, Kikar and other bee flora will be encouraged. A mechanism would also be introduced to support bee flora, improve the quality of honey production, provide livelihoods and support to beekeepers.

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