Muscat – Honey production in the sultanate increased 55 per cent in 2021 to 947,841kg from 611,678kg in 2020, according to data released in the statistical yearbook issued by the National Centre for Statistics and Information.
The highest production in 2021 was recorded in North Batinah (368,150kg), followed by North Sharqiyah (259,945kg), Dhahirah (153,729kg) and Dakhliyah (130,376kg) among other governorates.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Ahmed Abdullah bin Said al Maamari, a beekeeper from the wilayat of Ibri, said, “The big jump in production is due to several factors, including increase in rainfall, which led to the emergence of many green spaces suitable for the establishment of beehives in several regions of the sultanate, including the Empty Quarter.”
He added that beekeeping activities have spread, encouraging many new apiarists to raise bees in farms and homes.
Maamari noted a need for the establishment of an association for beekeepers to address their problems and promote their products, and establishment of private veterinary clinics to support apiarists. “A beekeepers’ association will also help in promoting Omani honey locally and abroad.”
He urged the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR) to reduce the import of honey to promote Omani honey and motivate beekeepers to produce more.
According to Ahmed al Saidi, another beekeeper, agreements signed by MAFWR with several private companies to promote Omani honey and its efforts to open promotional outlets to sell honey have also led to the increase of honey production.
MAFWR has been organising honey markets annually since 2014. It recently signed an agreement with Oman India Fertiliser Company with the aim of supporting the honey industry.
Under the agreement, beekeepers receive training through a series of multi-stakeholder workshops to encourage sustainable and economic beekeeping.
The agreement also aims to enhance the technical skills of beekeepers, including those belonging to low-income families.
Honey worth RO14.25mn was sold in Oman in 2020.
According to ministry statistics, there were 6,231 beekeepers in the sultanate, with a total of 137,600 beehives, that produced 712,551kg of honey in 2019.