Islamabad (Web Desk): Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday launched Billion Tree Honey Initiative to promoting tree plantation and honey production in Pakistan under the 'Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme' (TBTTP).
Addressing the launching ceremony in the federal capital, the premier said that the TBTTP will help control environmental degradation, including enhancing forest cover, cleaning rivers and protecting ground water from pollution, and checking air pollution.
PM Imran said it is responsibility of his government to hand over a clean Pakistan to younger generations, the Radio Pakistan reported.
He said Billion Tree Honey Initiative will also help improve environment, enhance exports, and create job opportunities for the youth.
The prime minister said this initiative will benefit the local population of areas, where these forests will be grown.
Imran Khan said Pakistan has great potential for growing olive and avocado trees.
“By olive plantation, we can be able to export olive oil and avoid import of edible oil,” the PM noted.
He said that avocado is full of nutrition and Pakistan's soil is very much suitable for its plantation. Imran Khan said that he has planted Olive and Avocado trees in his home garden.
Accordingly to an official statement, the Billion Tree Honey Initiative, plantation of plants including Kao, Phulai, Ber, Kikar and other bee flora is being encouraged under TBTTP.
“It is estimated that about 10,000 bee keepers are using 300,000 colonies for producing 7,500 metric tons of honey annually,” the statement said.
The potential can be enhanced to produce 70,000 metric tons of honey from the same harvest by using modern beekeeping gear, training on the latest techniques, standardization and certification of the product and intensive marketing.
“It is anticipated that marketing of 70,000 metric tons of honey will generate an income of around Rs43 billion in the national economy and provide about 87,000 green jobs,” the statement said.
The 'Billion Tree Honey' initiative is being launched by the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) as a coherent effort of different ministries and agencies to promote apiculture in the country.
The existing forestry resource available in the Protected Areas and the new areas being planted and regenerated under the TBTTP till 2022-23 is estimated to expand upto about 5.5 million hectares.
“The requisite forest resource shall be used by the bee keepers to produce honey specific to particular flora and shall be branded accordingly,” the statement said.
The National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) will provide training to the selected beekeepers along with technical support, follow-up of on-ground activities and product extraction.
The certified bee keepers shall be provided financial support through Kamyab Jawan Programme.
As an option the certified product, shall be purchased by the National Agriculture Technology Park (NATP) branded and marketed as 'Billion Tree Honey.'
The NAP will provide an end to end solution for promoting and marketing quality honey nationally and internationally.
“A pilot testing of the programme will be initiated at selected sites during the upcoming Spring Season,” the statement said.