Honey bee farms in Badakhshan struggle with market challenges

BADAKHSHAN, Afghanistan — Honey bee farm owners in Badakhshan province are raising concerns about the lack of proper markets for their products, despite this year’s bountiful yield.

Farmers attribute the increased production to recent rains, which have enhanced the quality of flowers that bees rely on for nectar. “When the flowers are good, we get good products. When there is a lot of rain, our yields improve,” said Qudratullah, a beekeeper in Badakhshan. He noted that the quality of the bees also plays a crucial role in the yield.

However, beekeepers like Qudratullah are facing significant challenges in transporting and selling their honey. “We do not have bulk sales, we don’t have a market, we don’t have sales, we don’t export abroad, and the government [Taliban] doesn’t address this issue to grant us sales permits for exporting our products outside the country. Also, there is no high-quality medicine available at an affordable price,” he added.

Other beekeepers in the region echoed these sentiments, criticizing the lack of facilities to transport honey to other provinces and the absence of a structured market for their products.

Acknowledging the problem, the Taliban’s Livestock Manager in the Agriculture Directorate of Badakhshan admitted that there is no specific market for selling honey. “Grocery stores take the honey and transfer it to the people. We have sent a letter and informed the ministry that we have a problem regarding the honey market; the honey market should be separate,” he said.

Badakhshan, known for its greenery and favorable climate, is an ideal location for beekeeping and honey production. However, without proper market facilities and government support, local beekeepers continue to struggle with selling and exporting their honey.