Credible sources claim the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) has failed to complete a honey-processing and packaging common facility due to the lack of funds. The honey facility is being set up at Mangora in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at a cost of Rs 38.17 million.
The project was supposed to be completed in June 2014 under the Public Sector Development Programme which aimed to provide honey-bee farmers, traders and exporters with proper extracting and processing facilities, the sources told Business Recorder on Monday.
On top of that, the project also aims to add value through better bottling and packing, improve quality through state-of-the-art technology, increase profitability through lower transportation costs and open up new markets and increase export by providing the international standard facility to cluster stakeholders.
“The government has so far released Rs 24.33 million till June 30, 2015.” the sources claimed. “The civil works has been completed and machinery purchased.” The sources further said, “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has attained self-sufficiency in honey production and is now able to export prime quality produce at competitive prices in open global markets. The honey industry of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been developed in different districts of the province.
“There are many types of honey being produced in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but Seder and Acacia Modesta are produced more in quantity. The total number of bee-keeping entrepreneurs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is 3,800 and that of the direct employment in these farms is 17,500 people.”
The Malakand Division has unmatched potentials in marble, granite, gems, hydel power generation, horticulture, apiculture (honey farming) and tourism sectors. These opportunities are translated into establishing several industries and thousands of informal set-ups.
A modern honey-processing plant with quality control functions and capabilities to produce refined, high quality product is an imperative requirement in the state. It will position Malakand as a key honey-processing centre and assist in realising higher value margins for the final product.
It will also enable the area to increase its share in the lucrative market. The common facility centre will provide different services, including sophisticated equipment, to process apiary as well as forest honey, production of refined high quality honey for bulk consumption, modern processing at six rupees per kilogramme and packaging at three rupees per kilogramme, capacity to process about 2,000 kilograms of honey in an eight-hour shift and packaging capacity of 1,500 to 2,000 bottles of one kilogramme.
Source: Business Recorder