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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

Talks about the Slovenian initiative for World Honeybee Day

Honeybees play key role for agriculture production and preservation of eco-systems

11 June 2015, Rome - FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today met with Slovenia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Dejan Zidan, who presented the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association initiative to propose to the United Nations that May 20th is declared a World Bee Day and requested FAO’s support.

Slovenia, where local beekeepers have an ancient tradition of paniting their hives, is requesting FAO’s support for its initiative, which was backed last month by the European Union’s council of agricultural ministers.

Graziano da Silva supported the plan and invited the Slovenian government to align its proposal with FAO’s technical work in the area of sustainable agriculture and environment. He suggested that the proposal be presented, through a relevant technical committee, to FAO’s Governing Bodies for further consideration and an eventual decision.

Revitalizing beekeeping in Azerbaijan

FAO engages in the exchange of expertise related to bees through issuing technical reports and also manages technical projects such as the ongoing “Beekeeping revitalization project in Azerbaijan”.

To address the underlying economic and biological problems that are stifling honey production, the newly-launched FAO project helps Azerbaijan improve the productivity of local honey bees and trains beekeepers to manage their colonies more effectively. The objective in revitalizing the beekeeping sector goes beyond making apiaries more efficient and aims to improve economic and social welfare in rural areas, giving people a renewed opportunity to earn a decent and secure livelihood through an age-old local trade.

Zidan and Graziano da Silva also also discussed FAO’s priorities in southeastern Europe, including a focus on family farming, soils and food waste and agreed on a more coordinated action and cooperation in these areas.

Zidan commended FAO’s emphasis on including social security as a part of its global mandate in food security.