President Dr Arif Alvi has called for adopting modern beekeeping techniques and advanced skills to enhance the yield and quality of organic honey produced in the country. Chairing a follow-up meeting on beekeeping and honey production on Wednesday, the president emphasised on providing loans to beekeepers under Prime Minister’s Kamyab Jawan Programme in addition to impart advanced training through National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) and Technical Education & Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA). The president said that Pakistan has enormous potential to be one of the largest producers of honey as its climate and vegetation are suitable for the production of premium quality honey. He also asked the stakeholders to initiate steps for facilitating and guiding the beekeepers by arranging training courses and workshops for them. He underscored the need for strengthening and improving the beekeeping sector as it had great potential to provide employment to the people as well as earn foreign exchange. He expressed the hope that the government’s Ten Billion Tree Tsunami programme would help improve the beekeeping environment of the country to enhance the production of quality honey. The president asked the relevant stakeholders to address the issues of the beekeeping sector enabling them to increase the production and exports of honey. He also asked the stakeholders to initiate steps for facilitating and guiding the beekeepers by arranging training courses and workshops for them. The meeting was attended by All Pakistan Beekeepers and Honey Dealers Association (APBHDA) President Naeem Qasmi, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council Chairman Dr Muhammad Azeem Khan, KP Environment and Wildlife Department Secretary of Forestry Islam Zaib, Secretary Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperative Department of KPK Muhammad Israr and other senior officials of the government of Pakistan. It is pertinent to mention here that commercial beekeeping is fast becoming a thriving business in rural areas of the country. According to the All Pakistan Beekeepers Trade and Exporters Association (APBTEA), besides providing new job opportunities to thousands of men and women, the business is helping the country earn foreign exchange through exports, mainly to Middle Eastern countries. According to the association, around $6 million in foreign exchange is earned annually through honey exports to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait. Pakistan currently produces around 7,500 metric tonmes of honey annually, with more than 8,000 beekeepers rearing exotic species in one million beehives, according to the government’s Honeybee Research Institute in Islamabad (HBRI). In the financial year 2018-2019 (FY19), Pakistan exported honey worth Rs966 million ($5.8 million), about Rs260 million more than FY18, according to the institute. Moreover, Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan launched the “Billion Tree Honey Initiative” in December last year with the aim of increasing honey production to 70,000 metric tonnes a year. The government estimates the project will help generate around Rs43 billion ($268 million) for the national economy and provide about 87,000 green jobs.