FAO and World Bee Day: buzz words for sustainability

(VOVWORLD) - Vietnam is globally celebrated for its rich diversity of agricultural products. While the world enjoys its coffee, rice, seafood, and bountiful harvests of fruit and vegetables, bee and its honey are another made-in-Vietnam product ready to create a buzz in the marketplace.

FAO and World Bee Day: buzz words for sustainability - ảnh 1Rémi Nono Womdim, FAO Representative in Vietnam (Photo credit: FAO)

As the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) joins its partners in Vietnam to celebrate World Bee Day 2024 on May 20, Vietnamese honey is also poised to realize its commercial potential and play a meaningful role in achieving more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems.

To help achieve these goals, with the theme ‘Bee engaged with youth’, World Bee Day is a call for action to encourage young people in Vietnam and globally to help strengthen pollination-friendly agricultural production and support sustainable agricultural practices.

Bees and other pollinators play a vital role in Vietnam’s agrifood systems, contributing to food security and nutrition. By carrying pollen from one flower to another, they allow plants to reproduce and thereby facilitate food production. In fact, 75% of the world’s most productive food crops – particularly fruits, vegetables and nuts – depend, at least in part, on pollinators.

This call to highlight the importance of involving young people in Vietnam’s beekeeping and pollinator conservation efforts, as the future stewards of our environment, comes at a critical time as bees, pollinators, and many other insects are declining in number.

A reliance on toxic chemicals, together with habitat loss, fragmentation and environmental pollution pose a real threat to 200,000 species of animals that act as pollinators, including more than 20,000 species of bees.

That is why FAO is also working to realize sustainable beekeeping practices in Vietnam.

FAO and World Bee Day: buzz words for sustainability - ảnh 2HoneyLand is a well-known brand specializing in producing unique products from honey. (Photo: Nguyen Luan/VNP)

Through FAO’s corporate flagship initiative, the One Country One Priority Product (OCOP), Vietnamese honey in 2023 was nominated as a special agricultural product and has made significant progress in developing its value chain, including production, distribution, and consumption.  

These steps to apply advanced beekeeping technology to produce higher quality honey are critical to boost export revenue for the predominately ethnic farmers who live in mountainous communities.

To further support farmers and bring prosperity to rural communities that need it most, there is a need to unlock the rich potential of the local market.

Domestically, honey consumption averages just 100 grams per person a year and is typically consumed in its purest form for medicinal purposes. This is despite honey’s natural minerals and vitamins being the perfect complement to a healthy diet.

As consumers we can all make a difference. To mark World Bee Day, let’s commit to becoming champions of sustainable agriculture that protects essential pollinators and nourishes the ecosystem, while improving the quality and quantity of food everywhere and for everyone.