National Forums Highlight the Relevance of BeesBy Sofía Hanna | Fri, 05/21/2021 - 12:56
Mexico’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) seeks to promote productive and environmentally friendly beekeeping investments. The country ranks eighth in the world in honey production and expects to grow by 22.4 percent in production in 2021.
On May 20, SADER joined World Bee Day celebrations by announcing a new plan with the National Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pollinators (ENCUSP) to further protect pollinators and their ecosystems. During the "Voices for Beekeeping and Meliponiculture" forum, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Víctor Villalobos Arámbula, announced that this year the agency aims to have 40,000 beekeepers enrolled in the program. The program, which already incorporates about 20,000 beekeepers, aims to generate environmental benefits and new jobs. He also said that Mexico is taking measures to protect pollinators and meet the requirements of researchers, academics and international organizations, such as the UN Organization for the Food and Agriculture (FAO) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The Ministry is directing government programs to protect all pollinators, generate monitoring protocols to reduce the use of glyphosate, update the list of prohibited pesticides and promote community programs that allow transit to agroecological systems that strengthen the food sovereignty of rural communities. Globally there are about 20,000 bee species. Mexico has about 1,900, of which almost all are native.
While the forum was on World Bee Day, the day before SADER had a dialogue with the National Institute of Forestry, Agricultural and Livestock Research (INIFAP) to discuss the importance of Mexico as a global exporter of honey and the relevance of bees in agricultural production cycles. Without the active participation of bees in the process of pollination of fruits and seeds for human consumption, it is estimated that there would be an approximate 30 percent reduction in food production globally, impacting food prices and access. The dialogue demonstrated the socio-economic and ecological importance of bees, which contribute more than 65 percent of the pollination of wild crops and plants.
At both the forum and in preceding conversation, participants agreed to continue transitioning the Mexican industry to protect bees.