Friday, June 9, 2023

Adulterated honey or ‘syrup’, which hurts Colombia’s beekeeping sector the most

In large supermarkets, neighborhood stores or food establishments, it is common to find adulterated or fake honey, also known as “syrup”, a product mixed with sugar or high fructose syrup, which tastes similar to the original honey.

This has been one of the major constraints in Colombian beekeeping, as it is estimated that 80% of the honey consumed in the country is adulterated or counterfeit, thus creating an unfair market that hinders competition and business continuity. affects.

For this reason, and because today is World Bee Day, Fabio Díazgranados, president of the Colombian Federation of Beekeepers and Bee Keepers (Fedibejas), He expressed the concerns that bother him, the importance of pollination for agriculture and the need to enact legislation to promote beekeeping.

Importance to agriculture

Bees are one of the most important species in the world, guaranteeing not only food security, but the survival of biodiversity.

In fact, one of the sectors that benefits the most from these insects is agriculture, as pollination allows crops to be more efficient and productive.

“If we do a broad calculation, the contribution of beekeeping to agriculture can be estimated to be around $900,000 million, just by increasing and improving the productivity of the sector. For example, pollination in avocado, coffee and citrus is well is identified with. And there is a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that when pollinated efficiently with our bees increase their productivity between 30%, 60% and 80%. Diazgrandos explained.

And he added that beekeeping has also been shown as one of the best alternatives to crop replacement and illegal mining.

“We are not competitors”

Despite the benefits and importance of raising and caring for bees in the economy and food security, Colombian beekeeping is still unable to be competitive, because, as mentioned above, one of its biggest problems is adulterated products, which are sold at a much lower price than pure honey.

“It’s something that really worries us a lot. A lot of adulterated honey is consumed in Colombia, and if this continues without control, Counterfeit products will continue to rise, and whether or not this will slow the generational change of beekeepers in the country as they begin to see that beekeeping is not a good business. And if beekeepers are less, then bees will also be less.”, said the leader of Fedeabejas.

For this reason, one of the claims of the association, with a view to improving the said competitiveness, is the lack of implementation and regulation of the Beekeeping Promotion Law.

More compatible

In January last year, a law was enacted to establish a financing and credit mechanism for beekeepers; increasing the production and consumption of bee products, creating programs for genetic improvement of bees, and providing technical assistance in the sanitary management of hives; However, this has not yet come into effect.

“In a visit to the then Minister of Agriculture, Cecilia López, she promised that this year she would work on the promotion and development of beekeeping as required by law. We presented them a plan so that in this government we can reach 500,000 beehives in the country, but now, with the replacement that has happened, we have to start anew,” Diazgranados said.

For now, they hope to sit down with the new head of the agriculture department from the union to start talks again.

Foreign trade, still missing

Honey production from bees in the country is expected to be close to 7,000 tonnes in 2022, which represents a record figure, as compared to production in 2021, an increase of more than 90%.

According to the association of honey producers, between 2021 and 2022 Colombia will import about 1,000 tons of this product, which does not represent a major problem compared to its consequences in internal production. However, the challenge for the country to strengthen itself as an important exporter is that there is a long way to go.

And it is that despite the increase year by year in the production of Colombian honey, it is still not enough to meet the external demand.

“Colombia, as such, is not a honey exporting country. External sales remain very uncertain, especially at the level of honey samples. We do not have the necessary surplus, and that means that when the country receives from us 10 or 30 If you ask for tons, we cannot answer. Currently, the country sends its honey, in very small quantities, to destinations such as the United Arab Emirates and the United States. Union leader commented.

Thus, although the famous phrase: “The extinction of the bees will be the beginning of the end for humans”, attributed to Albert Einstein, sounds like a distant reality, there are factors that make the existence of these insects increasingly difficult. put in danger. and those who live on them.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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