Honey fest generates SR1.8m in revenues
The first honey festival in Abha has concluded after a week full of activities.
Aayed Al-Muhaya, head of the Saudi Beekeepers Cooperative Association (SBCA), said 26 beekeepers participated in the festival. They came from Riyadh, Al-Baha, Buljurashi, Al-Nammas, Al-Mekheat, Abha Rejal Almaei, Khamis Mushayt and Surrat Obaidah, he said, adding that more than 30,000 visitors attended the weeklong festival which yielded revenues exceeding SR1.8 million.
Al-Muhaya explained that the revenues came from an auction that took place during the first three days of the festival and from the sales of the participants.
There were a number of varieties of honey on sale including 10 tons of Sedra, Talah, Samar and Majarah. The price of one kilo of honey ranged between SR200 and SR600, depending on its quality, he added.
He pointed out that the last day of the festival yielded the biggest revenues for one individual beekeeper who made a wholesale transaction worth SR100,000.
The head of the SBCA said the prominent feature of this first festival of its kind is that the majority of beekeepers had agreed to embark on the works of their association to serve their best interests in terms of marketing, exporting, obtaining visas for foreign labor they need, solving the problems they face and providing a big financial subsidy in case of damages, in addition to providing tools, treatments and vitamins at affordable prices.
The association intends to hold a second chapter of the festival next year, said the head of association. He thanked the Asir municipality for providing a special laboratory that measures the quality of honey and detects fake products.
On the question of honey export, he said that the majority of beekeepers sell and market their products on their own. They aspire to establish a Saudi union so that they can export their products abroad, especially to Australia, Germany, Turkey, France and New Zealand.
Asir Gov. Prince Faisal bin Khaled, who is the head of the tourism development council, said during the inauguration of the festival that honey is the main product in the area, and is of the best quality in the Kingdom.
The Asir region produces more than 12 tons of honey annually. The production is sold to local consumers and exported to Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and other provinces across the country.