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Honey exports surge sharply in two years
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Exports of natural honey increased by 78 percent from 2012 till 2014, according to Customs. Exports reached 50 tons in 2014, increasing from 28 tons in 2012. They were exported to the Gulf, Africa and the United States.

The Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL) attributed this increase to the incentives it offered to natural honey producers to help them enhance the quality and packaging of their production. In 2012, IDAL set the norms and standards required for packaging and labeling the honey jars. Incentives offered for each ton of natural honey to be exported differed according to the destination. Incentives per ton exported to Canada and South America were $700 for premium packaging and $640 for regular packaging.

The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) discussed with the European Union’s local representative yesterday (Thursday) ways of supporting natural honey exports to Europe. Ramzi Moghrabi, Head of Beekeeping Department at MoA, said: “Local natural honey complies with international standards and there are no hurdles that ban it from entering Europe.”

Production of natural honey reached 2,600 tons in 2014, according to MoA. The wholesale price of each kilogram ranges between $13 and $15. Its export prices are estimated at around $12. This production does not meet local consumption, according to Moghrabi. Around 250 tons of natural honey was imported in 2014.

There were around 260,000 beehives last year and 5,200 beekeepers were registered in MoA. Moghrabi said that all beekeepers benefit from the subsidized medicines provided by the Ministry, but only around 4,000 beekeepers live from this profession.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: Jan 08, 2016