Peshawar’s honey market sweetens the lives of millions in the Arab world

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People in a shop selling different varieties of honey at the Pak International Honey Market. (AN photo)
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The outside view of the honey market in Peshawar. (AN photo)
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Peshawar’s Tarnab Farm has hundreds of shops that sell locally produced honey. This picture shows just a few of them. (AN photo)
Updated 02 September 2018
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Peshawar’s honey market sweetens the lives of millions in the Arab world

  • Every year, the market exports honey worth Rs 2.8 billion to Arab countries
  • Exporters claim the honey produced in Pakistan is preferred by people in the Middle East because of its taste and quality

PESHAWAR: Peshawar’s Tarnab Farm is home to Pakistan’s biggest honey market, which exports about 4,000 tons of the commodity worth nearly Rs 2.8 billion ($0.023 billion) to Arab countries every year.
Senior Vice President of the All Pakistan Beekeepers Exporters and Honey Traders Association, Sheikh Gul Bacha, told Arab News on Sunday that about 200 containers, each carrying about 20 tons of honey, are exported to various Arab states, mostly to Saudi Arabia.
“We export bair (jujube) honey, which is produced in September and October, to Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries in huge quantities. Most people in that region like the product since it does not solidify. Arabs also use honey more frequently because Islamic teachings emphasize its medicinal properties,” he added.
Hajji Nauroz Khan, a honey trader, claimed that while the Arab countries also imported the commodity from other parts of the world, most of their residents preferred honey produced in Pakistan because of its superior quality and taste.
“The honey produced in this country is pure. Arabs like bair honey, and Pakistan supplies it in its purest form. Other countries produce a mix of bair and other plants,” he said.
Khan also informed that honey produced in Punjab, Azad Kashmir, Sindh and Balochistan was also brought to the Tarnab Farm market for sale.
“Although honey is also produced in other parts of the country, nearly 85 percent of the people associated with this business are Pashtuns.”
He recalled how the Tarnab Farm market was initially set up with the funding of international donor organizations that were working for Afghan refugees who had migrated to Peshawar after the Soviet invasion of their country. Back then, the market could boast only of a few shops. However, the business expanded and there are hundreds of shops in this vicinity now.
Talking to Arab News, Sher Zaman, a honey exporter, said the government should also help honey traders to export their product to Central Asian markets.
“We don’t have a proper market in Central Asia,” he said. “This is despite the fact that our palusa (rosemary) honey can make a huge impact in the region. This variety of honey is usually people’s first choice in cold countries.”
Zaman said there were four main kinds of honey sold in the market: “bair honey, orange honey, palusa honey and clover honey.” The types of honey varied since honeybees gathered nectar from a variety of different plants in different parts of the country.
Assistant Director of the Trade Development Authority, Zahid Khan, told Arab News that his department periodically organizes workshops and exhibitions for the promotion of local products. “We are not responsible for regulating the honey business,” he added, “but we facilitate the traders.”
He pointed out that the honey business was owned and operated mostly by Afghans, adding: “The ongoing repatriation of Afghans to their native land has also affected this trade in Pakistan. However, local traders have now taken control of the situation and stabilized the honey business.”


Muslim World League launches advanced halal identification system

MWL was declared the only legitimate body authorized to export halal products to Saudi Arabia. (Shutterstock)
Updated 26 min 12 sec ago
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Muslim World League launches advanced halal identification system

  • The MWL confirms that it is the only authority responsible for certifying Islamic centers and examination companies working in the halal field across the world

MAKKAH: The Muslim World League on Tuesday launched an advanced halal identification system, which will help to guarantee that all meat products exported to Saudi Arabia, and a number of other countries, comply with Shariah standards.
The global system, which represents the highest halal standards, will be overseen by the league, which is the only organization in Saudi Arabia, and several other Islamic countries, authorized to issue halal certificates. The Kingdom's grand mufti, Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, had previously hailed the efforts of the MWL in this field, and the league has signed agreements with a number of Islamic and non-Islamic countries.
“By announcing the launch of the advanced halal identification system,Cthe MWL confirms that it is the only authority responsible for certifying Islamic centers and examination companies working in the halal field across the world,” said MWL spokesman Adel Al-Harbi. He added that he was proud of the new system, representatives of which can be reached at [email protected]
MWL was declared the only legitimate body authorized to export halal products to Saudi Arabia in a royal decree that restricted the issuance of halal certificates to the league in recognition of its international relations, experience in cooperating and coordinating with local and international bodies, and for meeting the Shariah conditions for producing, manufacturing and marketing halal products. The Council of Senior Scholars had issued, through the Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta, headed by the grand mufti, a fatwa stating that the authority responsible for halal meat exported to the Kingdom is MWL. It is the oldest Islamic organization working in the field of halal food, with more than 30 years of experience and offices, partners and Islamic centers around the world.
MWL has warned against the practices of some authorities and companies that work in the field, who it says provide misleading and incorrect information and lack legitimate specialization. The MWL pledged to continue to expose violations by these companies.