Project will encourage quality honey production
Prime Minister Imran Khan has launched the Billion Tree Honey initiative, under which plantations to encourage honey production will be protected and more will be established.
The prime minister said in a launch event that the project is part of fighting climate change, which requires employing efforts at the local level and planting trees.
A government statement said that plantation of Kao, Phulai, Ber, Kikar and other bee flora will be encouraged. The total land available by 2022-23 on which the plantations will be done is 5.5 million hectares.
The project will improve quality of honey production and create jobs for bee keepers.
“It is estimated that about 10,000 bee-keepers are using 300,000 colonies for producing 12,000 metric tons of honey annually,” it said. The potential can be increased by seven times to produce 70,000 metric tons of honey from the same harvest by using modern bee keeping gears, conducting trainings on latest techniques, standardisation/certification of the product and marketing. All steps will be handled by different government departments.
The statement said that this could generate an income of about Rs35-40 billion in the national economy and provide about 80,000 green jobs.
Certified bee keepers will be eligible for financial support through NBP and Kamyab Jawan Programme.
The prime minister said that Pakistan ranks fifth on the list of countries most susceptible to climate change effects, and longterm planning is needed to ensure that the future generation has a habitable place to live.
“We were mocked for planting trees in KP,” he said.
The prime minister said that the plantations will be in areas with mostly poor population. The people need to be told why planting and protecting trees will benefit them financially and by reducing climate change effects, he said.
The prime minister added that the people employed for protection of forests have been killed and harassed by timber mafias.
He said that Pakistan exports oil, but can turn towards olive oil exports because it supports an environment for olive growth. The government will encourage avocado plantations too, the prime minister added.