EghtesadOnline: A total of 1,080 tons of honey worth 860 billion rials ($3 million) were exported from Iran during the current Iranian year’s first eight months (March 21-Nov. 21), according to the director of Agriculture Ministry’s Apiculture Expansion Project.
“The main export destinations for Iranian honey are China, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Germany, the UK, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Iraq and Lebanon,” Hossein Akbarpour was quoted as saying by IRNA.
“Iranian bee farmers produce close to 115,000 tons of honey per year and our annual export capacity is between 5,000 and 10,000 tons. About 60% of the honey produced in the county are from multiple plant sources and 40% are from single plant sources.”
Akbarpour noted that on average, 10.27 kilograms of honey are produced from each hive.
“Estimates show more than 3.5 tons of royal jelly will be produced by the end of the current [fiscal] year [March 20]. The export of the product was banned two years ago, as the domestic pharmaceutical industry needs almost as much for its medical products.”
A total of 112,500 tons of honey, 3.3 tons of royal jelly, 285 tons of pollen, 2,220 tons of wax and 124 tons of propolis were produced in Iran in the fiscal 2020-21.
West Azarbaijan, East Azarbaijan and Ardabil are the top Iranian provinces in terms of honey production.
About 100,000 people are currently engaged in Iran’s beekeeping industry.
CEO of Beekeeping Industry Expansion Support Fund Behzad Bankipour said over the past five to six years, Iran’s beekeeping industry has shifted its focus from producing only one main product, namely honey, to producing other bee secretions such as royal jelly and bee venom.
Moshir Ghaffari, former director of the Apiculture Expansion Project, said based on the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ latest ranking, Iran is the world’s fourth biggest honey producer after China, Turkey and Argentina.
The country is also said to be the fourth biggest honeybee colony owner after India, China and Turkey.
The above rankings, Ghaffari explained, pertain to 2017, noting that the Agriculture Ministry has sent new data from a recent census to FAO for the figures to be updated.
“We intend to devise mandatory standards for honey production, which will not only help increase the quality of the country’s products but also prevent fake honey from entering the market,” he added.
Per capita honey consumption in Iran stands at 1.3 kilograms per year.