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Pakistan's tree-planting push has a sweetener: more honey

Morpheus

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Pakistan's tree-planting push has a sweetener: more honey
  • Beekeepers in the plantation said they are now harvesting up to 70% more honey than before the greening project started in 2014, as the trees provide a habitat for bees and create conditions for a growing diversity of plants and flowers.
Reuters July 07, 2020


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CHANGA MANGA: When authorities started planting millions of trees in eastern Pakistan’s Changa Manga Forest five years ago, the idea was to bring back life to forest land that had been destroyed by illegal logging, water scarcity and fires.

Now that the trees have matured, they are having an even sweeter side-effect - helping to boost the local bee population and honey production in the area.

As part of Pakistan’s efforts to offset the impacts of climate change by rehabilitating forests, conserving soil and improving water management, 3.5 million trees were planted on 6,000 acres (2,428 hectares) in Changa Manga, known as one of the world’s largest man-made forests, near the city of Lahore.

Beekeepers in the plantation said they are now harvesting up to 70% more honey than before the greening project started in 2014, as the trees provide a habitat for bees and create conditions for a growing diversity of plants and flowers.

“As more of the plantation has been created, our honey production has kept on increasing,” said Bilal Hussain, a beekeeper in Changa Manga whose father runs the forest’s honey operations.

“We will get even more income over the next four to five years,” Hussain said excitedly, as he extracted honey from a piece of honeycomb to pack into bottles to sell at his shop.

The amount of honey harvested by beekeepers in the 12,500-acre forest almost doubled from 725 kg (1,600 pounds) in the fiscal year 2018-2019 to about 1,300 kg in 2019-2020, said forest officer Shahid Tabassum.

And the amount of sticky stuff coming out of Changa Manga is estimated to keep rising to about 2,000 kg in the next fiscal year, Tabassum added.

The old forest had three main species of trees, to which at least seven have been added, he noted.

“The forest cover plays an important role in the increase of honey production because honeybees get shelter, shade and water from the trees,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Globally, there has been a drastic decline in bee numbers, largely due to intensive agriculture, pesticide use and climate change, environmentalists say.

A study published in the journal Science in April found that the world’s population of land-dwelling insects is falling by almost 1% every year.

EXPORT SUCCESS

The boost in honey production is sweet relief for Pakistan, a cash-strapped country that got a $6-billion bailout package from the International Monetary Fund last year.

Pakistan has seen a drop in its exports and foreign remittances since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, according to independent economist Vaqar Ahmed.

He expects to see a further decline in the money coming into Pakistan as European and Gulf countries continue to wrestle with the economic effects of the outbreak.

Most of Pakistan’s remittances come from Gulf states, while European Union nations are the main markets for its exports, he explained.

Pakistan’s exports dropped from $20.1 billion in July-April 2019 to about $19.6 billion in the same period this year, data from the State Bank of Pakistan shows.

But industry experts expect honey to buck that trend.

In the financial year 2018-2019, Pakistan exported honey worth 966 million rupees ($5.8 million), about 260 million rupees more than the year before, according to the government’s Honeybee Research Institute (HBRI) in Islamabad.

Figures for this year’s honey exports are not available yet.

But industry insiders predicted they will keep going up, as the country’s beekeepers benefit from the trees in Changa Manga along with Pakistan’s ongoing push to reforest the country under its “10 Billion Tree Tsunami” project, launched last year.

Pakistan has 7,000 commercial beekeepers looking after more than 1 million beehives but has enough space for double that number, according to data from the HBRI.

And while planting trees expands the habitat for bees, the pollinators, in turn, help to naturally regenerate more forest areas with a variety of trees, plants and flowers, said Noor Islam, the bee institute’s senior scientific officer.

“Honey production and forestry are interrelated because the honeybees get their food from trees, while trees, as a result, maintain their biodiversity,” he said.

TREES FOR BEES

Malik Amin Aslam, climate change advisor to Prime Minister Imran Khan, said that nurturing the relationship between trees and bees is a priority for the 10 Billion Trees project.

He told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that in several honey-producing areas the project is planting bee-friendly trees such as the indigenous bari tree - also known as ziziphus mauritiana or jujube.

The tree’s honey is sought after for its low glucose content, which makes it less likely to crystallise, he said.

But Syed Mahmood Nasir, head of the Islamabad-based Nature Clicks Institution, a non-profit focused on the environment and anthropology, warned that growing Pakistan’s honey industry is not as simple as planting more trees.

Authorities need to be clear on whether they want a replanted forest to produce wild or farmed honey, with each requiring different management and resources, explained Nasir, who was formerly the government’s inspector-general of forests.

Either way, “they should ensure that no pesticides are used within at least 10 miles of the forest”, he added.

For Changa Manga beekeeper Hussain, Pakistan’s bee-boosting reforestation efforts make him optimistic he can carry on the business his father has been running for the last 45 years.

Hussain fondly recalled a childhood spent watching his dad extract honey straight from the beehives to give to customers.

“My biggest motivation for this work is that my father has had a special affection for honey since he was a boy and he doesn’t want this fondness to end,” he said.

“We will do it generation by generation. As long as the forest is there, honey is there.”

https://www.brecorder.com/news/40003385/pakistans-tree-planting-push-has-a-sweetener-more-honey

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Another sector opens up. Excess honey can be exported.
 

Pandora

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Just shows how much vital trees are to not just our climate but also for our economic and social development. We need to increase our investment several folds in green parks. 10 billion tree tsunami is a greats step as well but more investment is required to overcome destruction of flora and fauna that took place over past 3-4 decades.
 

LimaCharlie

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This is an awesome niche for us to start. Netherlands has its own. Germany has its own. Switzerland has its own. All are known for their brilliant food items and believe me, you won't find better honey than here. We can earn billions by investing in this field and it would be jackpot if we somehow manage to get hold of the pink salt and export it. It is sad how much raw potential is wasted only for it to fall in the sea and go unused like a pure, cold river..

The ten billion tree tsunami must be a top priority project for IK and the government plus we must also line our coast with vegetation

urban forests should be a must in each city and around cities, no sprawling allowed.

Ignoring such fertile land is not only stupid but evil at the same time.

there should be at least 20 percent forest cover area inside cities and 40 percent surrounding cities
 

313ghazi

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I hope a large percentage of the trees planted are fruit trees. The parks of Marrakesh are decorated with fruit trees. These will help create local jobs in rural areas.
 

fitpOsitive

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Pakistan's tree-planting push has a sweetener: more honey
  • Beekeepers in the plantation said they are now harvesting up to 70% more honey than before the greening project started in 2014, as the trees provide a habitat for bees and create conditions for a growing diversity of plants and flowers.
Reuters July 07, 2020


Comments
CHANGA MANGA: When authorities started planting millions of trees in eastern Pakistan’s Changa Manga Forest five years ago, the idea was to bring back life to forest land that had been destroyed by illegal logging, water scarcity and fires.

Now that the trees have matured, they are having an even sweeter side-effect - helping to boost the local bee population and honey production in the area.

As part of Pakistan’s efforts to offset the impacts of climate change by rehabilitating forests, conserving soil and improving water management, 3.5 million trees were planted on 6,000 acres (2,428 hectares) in Changa Manga, known as one of the world’s largest man-made forests, near the city of Lahore.

Beekeepers in the plantation said they are now harvesting up to 70% more honey than before the greening project started in 2014, as the trees provide a habitat for bees and create conditions for a growing diversity of plants and flowers.

“As more of the plantation has been created, our honey production has kept on increasing,” said Bilal Hussain, a beekeeper in Changa Manga whose father runs the forest’s honey operations.

“We will get even more income over the next four to five years,” Hussain said excitedly, as he extracted honey from a piece of honeycomb to pack into bottles to sell at his shop.

The amount of honey harvested by beekeepers in the 12,500-acre forest almost doubled from 725 kg (1,600 pounds) in the fiscal year 2018-2019 to about 1,300 kg in 2019-2020, said forest officer Shahid Tabassum.

And the amount of sticky stuff coming out of Changa Manga is estimated to keep rising to about 2,000 kg in the next fiscal year, Tabassum added.

The old forest had three main species of trees, to which at least seven have been added, he noted.

“The forest cover plays an important role in the increase of honey production because honeybees get shelter, shade and water from the trees,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Globally, there has been a drastic decline in bee numbers, largely due to intensive agriculture, pesticide use and climate change, environmentalists say.

A study published in the journal Science in April found that the world’s population of land-dwelling insects is falling by almost 1% every year.

EXPORT SUCCESS

The boost in honey production is sweet relief for Pakistan, a cash-strapped country that got a $6-billion bailout package from the International Monetary Fund last year.

Pakistan has seen a drop in its exports and foreign remittances since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, according to independent economist Vaqar Ahmed.

He expects to see a further decline in the money coming into Pakistan as European and Gulf countries continue to wrestle with the economic effects of the outbreak.

Most of Pakistan’s remittances come from Gulf states, while European Union nations are the main markets for its exports, he explained.

Pakistan’s exports dropped from $20.1 billion in July-April 2019 to about $19.6 billion in the same period this year, data from the State Bank of Pakistan shows.

But industry experts expect honey to buck that trend.

In the financial year 2018-2019, Pakistan exported honey worth 966 million rupees ($5.8 million), about 260 million rupees more than the year before, according to the government’s Honeybee Research Institute (HBRI) in Islamabad.

Figures for this year’s honey exports are not available yet.

But industry insiders predicted they will keep going up, as the country’s beekeepers benefit from the trees in Changa Manga along with Pakistan’s ongoing push to reforest the country under its “10 Billion Tree Tsunami” project, launched last year.

Pakistan has 7,000 commercial beekeepers looking after more than 1 million beehives but has enough space for double that number, according to data from the HBRI.

And while planting trees expands the habitat for bees, the pollinators, in turn, help to naturally regenerate more forest areas with a variety of trees, plants and flowers, said Noor Islam, the bee institute’s senior scientific officer.

“Honey production and forestry are interrelated because the honeybees get their food from trees, while trees, as a result, maintain their biodiversity,” he said.

TREES FOR BEES

Malik Amin Aslam, climate change advisor to Prime Minister Imran Khan, said that nurturing the relationship between trees and bees is a priority for the 10 Billion Trees project.

He told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that in several honey-producing areas the project is planting bee-friendly trees such as the indigenous bari tree - also known as ziziphus mauritiana or jujube.

The tree’s honey is sought after for its low glucose content, which makes it less likely to crystallise, he said.

But Syed Mahmood Nasir, head of the Islamabad-based Nature Clicks Institution, a non-profit focused on the environment and anthropology, warned that growing Pakistan’s honey industry is not as simple as planting more trees.

Authorities need to be clear on whether they want a replanted forest to produce wild or farmed honey, with each requiring different management and resources, explained Nasir, who was formerly the government’s inspector-general of forests.

Either way, “they should ensure that no pesticides are used within at least 10 miles of the forest”, he added.

For Changa Manga beekeeper Hussain, Pakistan’s bee-boosting reforestation efforts make him optimistic he can carry on the business his father has been running for the last 45 years.

Hussain fondly recalled a childhood spent watching his dad extract honey straight from the beehives to give to customers.

“My biggest motivation for this work is that my father has had a special affection for honey since he was a boy and he doesn’t want this fondness to end,” he said.

“We will do it generation by generation. As long as the forest is there, honey is there.”

https://www.brecorder.com/news/40003385/pakistans-tree-planting-push-has-a-sweetener-more-honey

-----------

Another sector opens up. Excess honey can be exported.
Main bee killers:
Mobile phone towers, who are radiating above a certain power.
The pesticide drenched seeds, and the resulting poisonous plants and their flowers.
Pesticide sprays.
Deforestation.
 

LimaCharlie

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Main bee killers:
Mobile phone towers, who are radiating above a certain power.
The pesticide drenched seeds, and the resulting poisonous plants and their flowers.
Pesticide sprays.
Deforestation.
exactly, cell phone towers surrounding protected areas and in residential areas should be a crime.

5g will ruin everything if its waves are like what they say, thats for sure

but thats a different debate
 

Imran Khan

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gov should not stop it we should keep planting trees always . i think we need 3 days national tree planting festival now every year too .
 

Morpheus

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5g will ruin everything if its waves are like what they say, thats for sure
5G tower have been proven to be not harmful to humans or bees.

For years, tree mafia has been cutting our trees. Reducing our green landscape, and killing food supply for bees. Restore the trees, and the bees will return.
 

LimaCharlie

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"Pakistan’s exports dropped from $20.1 billion in July-April 2019 to about $19.6 billion in the same period this year, data from the State Bank of Pakistan shows"]

Pakistan has the capability to increase its exports a hundred fold, even more. There are countries in the world which lack certain resources and those resources can be found under every stone we turn in our country. From fruits to honey to carpets, garments, equipment, defense technology, aircraft, everything is here, We can export our defense equipment to countries like argentina and african countries, instead of retiring our f7p fleet, strike a bargain with some african or some irrelevant south american state . Central asian landlocked states will benefit us much. We must strike a deal with russia if they want some of that warm water port. Apart from that, central and eastern european countries are the ones we don't even consider as trade partners such as the czech republic, croatia etc. This has massive potential.

Fashion and culture is another thing we can export, Muslim attire is popular around the world. Add some pakistani to that and you have a brand new niche.

The only thing we are known for around the world are cheap labour and mangoes, nothing else

sports equipments is a popular niche on which we MUST capitalize, we must not let it go at any cost. Sports diplomacy will work out very well, invite teams from the above countries to our own and observe the magic. Apart from cricket, we must focus on other well known sports like football etc. This will increase our global reputation.
Everything's ready, just do it.

We must be as self reliant as possible and able to survive sanctions, for that reason, we focus on our trade with turkey. Cut down trade with India. Be as self reliant as possible

and I know this would be controversial but


tax the afghans

If the future of our state requires us to be cruel, we must be cruel. State comes first or you get eaten by crows

Okay, that was the end of my little speech, thanks for reading
 

LimaCharlie

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Bee keepers harvested 1300 kilograms honey from this forest of 12,500 acres. Mtlab 1 kg honey from 10 acres land. 100 grams per acre production
first off by this field, i mean the exports sector

second,
winter sets in and the crops are on fire
forest are demolished for "housing schemes"

Thats what morpheus said and I couldn't agree more

"For years, tree mafia has been cutting our trees. Reducing our green landscape, and killing food supply for bees. Restore the trees, and the bees will return."

simple
 

LimaCharlie

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I'm talking about the potential of forestation, you're just proving my own point

"The ten billion tree tsunami must be a top priority project "
 

LimaCharlie

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I don't think only changa manga accounts for all of pakistan's honey, don't you?

And the amount of sticky stuff coming out of Changa Manga is estimated to keep rising to about 2,000 kg in the next fiscal year, Tabassum added.

was just saying that this could be increas, at a more rapid pace

production=export=money
 

Arsalan

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This is an awesome niche for us to start. Netherlands has its own. Germany has its own. Switzerland has its own. All are known for their brilliant food items and believe me, you won't find better honey than here. We can earn billions by investing in this field and it would be jackpot if we somehow manage to get hold of the pink salt and export it. It is sad how much raw potential is wasted only for it to fall in the sea and go unused like a pure, cold river..
This have been sorted, raw material export have been stopped and it will totally end in a few months when current orders end. Plus over a dozen companies are now packing and marketing it as a Pakistani product.
 

LimaCharlie

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This have been sorted, raw material export have been stopped and it will totally end in a few months when current orders end. Plus over a dozen companies are now packing and marketing it as a Pakistani product.
That's awesome, pretty sure I saw a tweet about that, however, I did not think it was authentic
 

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