Afghanistan: Herat’s honey farmers struggle with lack of market for their products

Honey farmers in the western province of Herat said they are faced with lack of a proper market for their products which are unique among honey produced in other provinces of the country.

Herat has at least 500 honey farms, producing almost 70 tons of honey yearly.

“We produce nearly one ton of honey every year and we send it to the market, but due to the current situation, our market has fallen compared to the past,” said Ahmad Sediq, a honey farmer.

“Use of healthy and organic food should be promoted as a culture because it is better for our society,” said Najibullah Sediqi, a honey farmer. “Honey production has increased in Herat and people should buy it to boost the market.”

Members of the honey farmers association in Herat said that their products had decreased last year over drought and they produced 70 tons of honey but it was higher in previous years.

According to the association, the honey produced in Herat last year was worth $30,000.

“The figures that we have provided are an estimation. Last year, the production was 70 tons but the exports are not done directly to target countries,” said Mohammad Arif Wasil, head of the honey farmers union in Herat.
More than 1,000 people are working in Herat’s honey farms and 20 percent of them are women, according to the union.

The union said that Herat’s honey is mostly produced in Pashtun Kot, Zarghoon, Karokh, Injil and Guzara districts. It is mostly exported to Turkey, UAE, India and Iran.