Season Honey Company displays its wares in a local trade fair.
Raw honey production is common in Afghanistan’s eastern region because weather in the region soothes honeybees and beekeeping. In addition, beekeeping does not require high-tech equipment or skills and is easy to do using traditional methods. However, most of the raw honey produced in Afghanistan is exported to Pakistan due to non-existence of processing and packaging firms in the region. The honey is processed, labeled as made in Pakistan, and re-exported at a higher cost to Afghanistan.
To keep the processing in Afghanistan, the Nangarhar Beekeepers’ Association, with technical and financial support from USAID, established the Season Honey Company in Nangarhar Province. With the support, Season began to collect, process, and package honey locally. In order to increase the source of honey supply to the firm, Season also opened raw-honey collection centers in Laghman, Kunar, Nuristan, and Nangarhar provinces in the eastern region and began collecting raw honey from more than 500 honey producers and beekeepers there.
After processing, Season supplies high-quality honey to markets in Nangarhar, Kabul, and Balkh provinces. The firm employs 15 employees and has increased its annual sales from 17,000 kg of honey to 38,000 kg of honey in 2010.
"Establishing the honey processing and packaging facility in the region has solved our problem with processing and packaging honey domestically. Because the quality of honey produced in our region is high, it has good markets inside and outside of Afghanistan. Proper processing and packaging helps our products to be competitive, which in turn helps sustain our business, invest more into it, and provide jobs to more people," said Manzoor Ahmad Roudwal, managing director of the Season Honey Company.
Local honey production provides job opportunities for Afghans in processing and packaging the honey and in marketing and selling the packaged product in local markets. USAID support to the beekeepers association contributes to the economic growth and development of Afghanistan and Afghans.
Honey Money: Sweet Success