Growing demand fuels spike in Omani honey exports
January 14, 2018 | 9:42 PM
by Gautam Viswanathan / [email protected]

Muscat: Oman produced more than 600 tonnes of honey in 2016, earning the country OMR15.200 million, according to the latest statistics released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

These earnings are a sharp jump up from 2015, when only 437,653 kilogrammes of honey was produced, and some OMR10.866 million was earned through exports.

The increasing popularity of Omani honey has seen more beekeepers being employed, to ensure the honey produced in the Sultanate is of the finest quality.

About 5,000 beekeepers worked in Oman in 2016, up from 4,433 the previous year.

Only 2,681 beekeepers tended Oman’s hives in 2011.

This number is consistent with the growth in the number of beehive colonies across Oman, as well.

There are 100,000 beehives in Oman, as of 2016, up from 88,770 in 2015. There were only 61,721 in 2011.

One of the reasons Oman’s honey sales have gained popularity, both within and outside the country, is due to the different varieties of honey found in the Sultanate. The country’s different climate and geographical features produce a wide variety of honey here.

The government actively promotes the benefits and qualities of Omani honey through its annual honey markets, which have seen an increasing numbers of participants, and varieties of honey being made available to tourists and residents.

Nine honey markets have been held on an annual basis, so far, with the latest held December 28 to 31, 2017.

More than half a million rials (OMR501,471) were earned through the sale of 20,457 kilogrammes of honey from 371 vendors, prior to the ninth honey market. With the exception of the second honey market, which was held in Salalah, all others have been held in the capital, Muscat.

Omani honey is characterised by many factors, which make it one of the most popular at both the local and regional levels.

Honey produced across most of Oman’s governorates is well known for its physical density, low proportion of water, colour, taste, and aroma, due to the many sources of nectar and pastures that characterise the Sultanate’s varied geographic regions.

Some of Oman’s most popular variants of honey include Al Sammar honey, Sidr honey, Al Batinah blossom honey, and wild honey.

Oman is currently looking to boost the market for its honey even further, with better packaging and branding, in keeping with modern marketing programmes. In addition, the country is always on the lookout for new markets for honey producers within the nation.

The aim is to introduce the new generation of Omani and expat youth to the qualities of honey and educate them about beekeeping methods. These markets are also seen as an opportunity to invite those with ideas and technical know-how about beekeeping to share their experiences with Omani beekeepers.

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