Honey prices double on rising demand

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Honey prices double on rising demand

Jun 18, 2014-

Honey prices have doubled in a year due to swelling consumption and stagnant output, said the Central Honey Entrepreneurs Association of Nepal (CHEAN). Wholesale prices jumped two-fold to Rs 300 per kg from Rs 150 per kg a year ago.

Retailers have been selling honey at Rs 500 to Rs 900 per kg depending on the type. The various types of honey sold in the market are mustard, millet, chiuri, rudilo and jamun.

Raju Khatiwada, proprietor of Namaste Honey, said that domestic consumption had soared in recent years. “Until a few years ago, we had surplus honey which we used to feed bees for lack of market,” he said. “But these days we are having a hard time fulfilling demand due to increasing orders from pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers of beauty products, five-star hotels and department stores,” Khatiwada said, adding that he sold 20 tonnes of honey annually.

Honey is among the 19 major exportable items identified by the Nepal Trade Integration Strategy 2010. In the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, 1,100 kg of honey was exported. Exports during the corresponding period in fiscal year 2012-13 were almost nil. Europe and the US have barred entry to Nepali honey citing quality issues. However, Nepali honey has been gaining popularity in Japan, China and South Korea, among other countries, said traders. “But the chemical residue used by farmers on their crops like mustard, millet and banana is a challenge for us,” said Dharma Raj Shrestha, president of the CHEAN.  

According to the association, 40,000 people are directly or indirectly involving in honey production while 200 people are engaged in packaging and marketing. The country produced around 2050 tonnes of honey this fiscal year, up by 26 percent compared to last fiscal year., according to Ministry of Agriculture Development. “Honey production has been decreasing for three years straight but there was an improvement last year,” said Shrestha.

Nepali honey accounts for 45 percent of the total consumption in the country. Nepal Honey, Himalayan Honey, Gandaki Honey, Gorkha Honey, Namaste Honey, Shakti and Himali Honey are some of the top brands of honey in Nepal. Nepali honey has been competing with Indian brands like Dabur Honey and Patanjali Honey.

 

Published: 19-06-2014 09:06

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