Thi Qar Bee Farm Thi Qar, Iraq
SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION ARLINGTON VA
Pagination or Media Count:
Iraqs once-flourishing honey industry is struggling to revive itself, hit by long-term environmental degradation and six years of unrest that followed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Honey production has fallen by almost half since the 1980s. Bee keeping declined sharply after 2003 because of the lack of security in places where the hives were located. Lack of developments in the farming sector and cuts in water supply have destroyed vegetation and fields where bees once gathered pollen and beekeepers face hardships from droughts and lack of financial assistance. Beekeeping in the Fertile Crescent dates back to ancient Mesopotamia. However, beekeeping was virtually unknown in southern Iraq. In 2005, a small group of engineers and farmers in Thi Qar province formed the Iraqi Beekeeping Association of Thi Qar and started to disseminate the culture of beekeeping. The benefits were clear. Honey is a high value food item that is currently imported and sells for 15 to 40 dollars a kilogram. Cultivating economically viable domestic production of honey was a natural economic niche. Also, beekeeping has beneficial environmental effects. Bees are great pollinators for fruits and vegetables and, in establishing their territory, decrease insect attacks on plants.
- Agricultural Economics
- Agronomy, Horticulture and Aquiculture
- Food, Food Service and Nutrition
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography