QCOSTARICA – Costa Rica is wasting the opportunity to produce more honey, as it does not have a national apiculture plan to promote the activity, said Juan Bautista Alvarado, president of the Cámara Nacional de Fomento de la Apicultura (National Chamber for the Promotion of Beekeeping).
Currently, the country produces between 600 and 1,000 tons per year, which is not even enough to supply local demand, when its potential is 5,000 tons per year.
There is no government support to promote the activity as there is for other agricultural activities such as cattle, despite the fact that Guanacaste has a lot of land for bee farms.
“There is a lack of public policy on the part of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), subsidies and other types of support that promote honey production and make the sector more efficient,” said Alvarado.
The claim occurs at a time when a bill was approved by legislators to declare beekeeping of public interest, which commits the State to promote and encourage actions aimed at entrepreneurship, execution and development of the activity.
Including celebrating on May 20 of each year the National Bee Day.
The project lays the foundation for developing beekeeping in a more formal way, but it is not enough, according to Alvarado.
The initiative also creates a legal framework for the recovery of bees when the Fire Department intervenes a honeycomb, by granting it the power to deliver the bees that it recovers to the MAG, the body that will be in charge of donating them to beekeepers.
In Costa Rica, some 1,500 families are engaged in beekeeping, which invoiced exports of natural honey for US$28 million dollars in 2019, exclusively to the European Union, according to data from the Foreign Trade Promoter.