Iran third largest honey producer in the world: FAO

May 22, 2019

TEHRAN— Iran, as one of the leading countries in honey industry, has a long-established tradition on bee keeping and during recent years could successfully increase its annual production of honey and is now the third largest honey producer in the world, Gerold Bödeker, FAO Representative to the Islamic Republic of Iran has said.

He made the remarks during an event marking World Bee Day 2019, held in Embassy of Slovenia, here on Monday.

However, he regretted, the recent widespread floods that affected large parts of Iran damaged over 50 thousand bee colonies, which could lead to a reduction in honey production of over 600 MT. Only about 10 percent of the damage was insured. 

Bödeker also said that as FAO Director General Mr. José Graziano da Silva stated, “each one of us has an individual responsibility towards protecting bees and we should all make pollinator-friendly choices.”

Many of the world’s crops producing fruits and seeds for human consumption depend, at least in part, on pollinators for sustained production, yield and quality, he said, adding that, many of the plants that are rich in micronutrients are the ones that are dependent on the pollinators. 

“Indeed, pollination-dependent crops are five times more valuable than those that do not need pollination. 

“Despite their critical role, bees and other pollinators have, in recent years, become increasingly endangered, which largely resulted from changes in land use and landscape structure, intensive agricultural practices, monocultures, emergence of new pests and disease, the use of pesticides and climate change.

“FAO through the ‘Global Action on Pollination Services for Sustainable Agriculture’ provides practical tools to use and conserve pollination services that sustain ecosystems. 
“The multilateral ‘International Pollinators Initiative’ coordinated by FAO, promotes coordinated worldwide action to monitor pollinator decline, identify practices and build capacity in the management of pollination services for sustainable agriculture and improve food security, nutrition and livelihoods.” 

He also highlighted that observing World Bee Day on 20 May each year presents an opportunity to recognize the essential role of beekeeping, bees and other pollinators in increasing food security, improving nutrition and fighting hunger as well as in providing key ecosystem services for agriculture.
“We are looking forward to increase collaboration with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and other national and international partners in beekeeping sector to contribute to global food security, food safety and nutrition security, and preserving the environment and biodiversity,” Bödeker concluded. 

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