SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, Dec. 5 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The plenary session of the Cabildo de Tenerife has approved today by majority the Strategic Plan for Beekeeping in Tenerife, a decalogue of measures and actions that has been agreed with the beekeeping sector to guarantee the future and sustainability of this traditional activity.
During his speech, the Island Councilor for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Javier Parrilla, recalled that it is “a participatory plan, which had never been considered before and which has been debated and agreed upon with the 13 beekeeping associations of the Island to give response to their needs and demands.
According to Parrilla, “this strategy is a reflection of the change in the model in which the Island Corporation has been working since the beginning of the mandate.” “We have invested in and worked day by day for beekeeping in Tenerife, a commitment that has contributed to improving the situation of the sector, halting the worrying decline in the number of farms and hives and favoring their grouping and professionalization. Now, through this Plan, what we intend is to continue advancing to relaunch and consolidate this fundamental activity for the general interest of the island,” he added.
The island manager also assured that this decalogue of measures will benefit Tenerife’s agricultural biodiversity as a whole and will contribute to the increase in honey with Protected Designation of Origin, which currently has 204 operators, 199 beekeepers and 5,832 hives.
The plenary session was attended by representatives of the beekeepers associations of Tenerife (Apiten, ADS Abecan, Asociación Apícola Canaria and Norte de Tenerife).
The Island Plan, which is aligned with the national and European strategy for the protection of pollinating species, contemplates 10 major objectives that seek to solve the health and structural problems of the sector, promote professionalization, conserve pollinator populations and their habitats and promote the investigation.
Among other issues, the Cabildo will defend beekeeping transhumance and the maintenance of the number of hives in protected natural spaces and undertakes to organize, in collaboration with the sector, fairs and congresses, to multiply business training and entrepreneurship actions, and to promote the presence of Tenerife Honey in all regional, national and international gastronomic events.
In the same way, the packaging and laboratory fees of the House of Honey will remain suspended, as well as the costs of the wax. In addition, a help line will be promoted for beekeepers who pack their products with the DOP Miel de Tenerife in the packaging center of La Casa de La Miel.
To preserve the health of the hives, the Island Corporation will lead a control and monitoring program on the island’s farms. In addition, it undertakes to maintain aid for bee feeding, which contributes to improving the nutritional status of these pollinators.
Faced with the structural challenge posed by the reduced dimensions of the farms, the Cabildo will advise on the locations and plantations of flora of beekeeping interest. Likewise, a map of beekeeping space will be created (both public and of privately owned settlements) and public tracks will be adapted to access apiaries or areas of beekeeping interest.
In the same way, strategies for the reintegration of nature will be established and the planting of flora will be promoted with the aim of preventing changes in the use of the territory from continuing to displace this activity. On the other hand, the Beekeeping Board will develop internal operating standards and will meet at least every six months.
Finally, the Cabildo will urge the Government of the Canary Islands to request to modify the European Program of Specific Options for the Canary Islands (Poseican) so that it is applied to professionalized livestock farms, which will allow the generation of a greater volume of industry and commercial response capacity.
For the implementation of this insular strategy, the Ministry of Agriculture foresees an initial item of 370,000 euros in the budgets for 2023.
Specifically, 140,000 euros will be allocated to complementary feeding of bees and 105,000 euros to promote beekeeping. A grant of 50,000 euros has also been provided to support honey production companies and an item of 60,000 euros to improve the equipment and training services of the Casa de la Miel.
Finally, it is proposed to increase the subsidy to the Apiten association, which encompasses 85 percent of beekeepers in Tenerife, as a result of the increase in livestock and honey production (15,000 euros).
In addition, the beekeeping sector may benefit from other aid aimed at improving the marketing of agricultural products and for which an item of 105,000 euros is expected next year.