The Honey Processing and Packaging Center set up by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) in Swat has enabled the country to export prime quality Honey at competitive prices in the open global markets, besides successfully meeting the domestic demand. It was observed at a projects review meeting of SMEDA held today in chair with Mr. Fuad Hashim Rabbani, Acting Chief Executive Officer of SMEDA. Addressing the meeting, he said that a modern honey processing plant with quality control functions and capabilities to produce refined, high quality honey was an imperative requirement of the country, which has been accomplished by SMEDA under patronage of the Ministry of Industries and Production with the cost of about Rs.38.17 million. The Center has positioned Malakand division as a key honey processing area in Pakistan by assisting the local honey farmers in realization of higher value margins for the final products, he said adding that value addition technology introduced in the center had enabled the area to increase its share in the lucrative markets at national and international market.
The Acting CEO SMEDA was glad to know that the Honey Processing and Packaging Center, operating as a Common Facility Center had provided the sophisticated equipment to process aiary as well as forest honey production of high quality refined Honey for bulk consumption. The technology installed at the center has a capacity to process approximately 2000 kg of honey in an 8 hour shift along with packaging capacity of 1500-2000 bottles of one KG.
It is notable that the Honey industry of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is spread over to different districts of the province. There are many types of honey produced in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but Seder (Ber in Urdu) and Acacia Modesta (Plai in Urdu) are produced more in quantity. There are about 3800 Bee-keeping entrepreneurs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, who have provided direct employments to over 17500 workers.
It is further to mention that Malakand Division has got unmatched potential in Marble, Granite, Gems, Hydel Power Generation, Horticulture, Apiculture (Honey Bee Farming) and Tourism sectors. These opportunities are translated into establishment of several industries and thousands of informal setups, therefore SMEDA has increased its interventions in the area to explore the potential for growth of SMEs.