Monday, September 25, 2017

Honey exporters seek sweeter deals

Beekeepers are abuzz with the possibilities of expanding the international market for their honey. But despite a swarm of new producers, and the doubling of the number of beehives in the country, beekeepers will have to get busy in order to expand their share of the international market, industry experts say.

Myanmar Apiculture Association chairman U Pyae Phyo Aung told The Myanmar Times that association membership increased from 165 to 284 in 2009, while the number of beehives soared from 25,000 to 44,335.

“In 2008-2009, total honey production in Myanmar was 1500 metric tonnes, of which 1375 tonnes went for export and the rest was consumed locally,” he said. Most of the export volume – 1270 tonnes – went to Japan, the rest to China, bringing in a total of US$1.44 million. As of September 2009, a total of 536 tonnes, worth about half a million dollars, had been exported.

But although Myanmar honey has a good reputation, the task now is to find more markets for a quality product. So beekeepers are consulting experts, finding new customers and upgrading the quality of their honey.

In 2009, the association invited an apiculture expert from Germany to advise on improving the quality of export honey. They have also invested in technology.