By Theodore Jones –
Third edition of the Egyptian Honey Festival, organized by the Arab Beekeepers Union, began on Wednesday at the Orman Botanical Garden in Giza Province, according to Egypt’s Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, the event will providing new marketing and exporting opportunities for honey producers.
The five-day festival, dubbed Egypt’s Liquid Gold, drew over 130 exhibitors from the most famous Egyptian and Arab corporations from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Libya, and Lebanon.
“The festival connects honey producers with local and international organizations engaged in the food industry, such as banks, export councils, and commerce chambers,” Alaa Azoz, head of the ministry of agriculture’s agricultural advice, told Xinhua.
The beekeepers’ organizations attending the event are scheduled to debate ways to advance the honey sector and remove barriers to Egyptian honey export, according to Azoz.
Egyptian honey boasts a good reputation in most countries and targets doubled exports, he added.
Fathy Behari, chairman of the Arab Beekeepers Union and president of the organizing committee of the festival, noted that the beekeeping sector in Egypt employs more than 25,000 families.
Egypt produces 15,000 tons of honey annually, out of which 2,500 tons is exported to other Arab countries and the United States, according to Behari.
“Our main goal is to encourage the culture of beekeeping among civil society,” he said.
Sameh al-Asalway, whose company participates in the festival every year, told Xinhua that his family has been working in the beekeeping industry since 1900.
He displayed mountain, citrus, flowers and lucerne honey at the festival, saying the main use of honey is in cooking and baking but it could also benefit health when drunk with water.
It is worth noting that Al-Asalway sells his honey at the same prices as he did the previous year, despite the economic conditions from the COVID-19 pandemic, with flower honey at 3.8 U.S. dollars per kg and anise honey at five dollars per kg.
But “most of the Egyptian customers buy citrus honey, especially in the winter,” Al-Asalway said, adding one kg of citrus honey costs about four dollars.
Mohamed Soliman, a 40-year-old lawyer who visits the festival with his family, referred to the diabetic honey as a good replacement for sugar.
“I wish the ministry of agriculture can organize the festival three times every year because the prices are much cheaper than the ordinary stores,” said Soliman, adding that at the festival customers can find at least 50 types of honey and children can acquire new knowledge about beekeeping through drawing activities.