The country’s only government-owned Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) honey processing plant provides the opportunity for the country’s beekeepers and others related to this sector to refine their collected raw honey at the cheapest rate.
The plant also enables beekeepers to produce and sell export-quality honey to the domestic and international markets.
Amio Kumar Sana, Promotion officer of BSCIC and Industrial Estate Officer said, it is mandatory to process raw honey according to the proper procedure to ensure its quality standard, as there is also an international standard that requires some quality parameters to ensure honey's purity and quality, which are not possible to maintain in the previous processing method.
Apart from that, the traditional method cannot balance the international quality parameters, causing a large amount of honey to be ruined every year, which also affected our honey sector, and sent losses to the farmers as well, Sana added.
The plant was set up in 2019 by the BSCIC at the BSCIC Industrial Estate in Dhamrai, outside of the capital, which has now become popular among honey farmers and other honey brands as the plant offers to process raw honey at the cheapest price of Taka 15 per kilogram, even providing the opportunity to package honey at an additional Taka 3.
Bangladesh Post recently visited the country’s only government-owned BSCIC honey processing plant and talked to several beekeepers, plant workers, and others related to this sector who brought their honey to be refined at this plant.
Abdul Jabbar, one beekeeper, said that in the distant past, they used to process collected honey by the traditional method, which cannot be done to ensure the international quality standard required to export the sweet, viscous food substances abroad. Not only for export, but the international quality standards are also required to grab our domestic market, as 60% of the domestic honey market is still held by foreign brands.
Now beekeepers and others related to this sector are able to sell their honey with proper confidence and export honey to other countries as the BSCIC honey processing plant is able to process honey with the required quality standard needed to export it abroad, Jabbar said.
It was also seen that hundreds of mini plastic containers filled with raw honey were lined up before the plant area to be processed, as tons of raw honey come to the plant each day during the collection season, though the plant is now able to process only one metric ton each day in a double shift against the demand.
Concerned BSCIC authorities should upgrade their capability considering the country’s honey sector’s interest.
Porag, assistant operator of this plant, said that earlier they processed 0.5 metric tons of raw honey each day, but now they process around a ton of raw honey in a double shift at the plant and charge Taka 15 per kilogram of raw honey.
Some other honey processing plants in the country charge Taka 40 to 50 to refine per kilogram of honey, which is around 3 times that of the BSCIC plant, he added.
Amio Kumar Sana told Bangladesh Post, "Many new entrepreneurs have come to this sector after the plant was set up in 2019. Our domestic honey market is also rising day by day." Still, hundreds of farmers across the country come to us to refine and process their collected honey. Adding that, the BSCIC authorities are now planning to set up more honey processing plants in Satkhira and other districts, so that farmers from those districts don’t have to come this far anymore.