With Ramadhan meals, Yemeni honey at the rich dinner tables, imported honey for the poor [Archives:2003/683/Business & Economy]

November 6 2003

One of the most shared components of the Ramadhan iftar (breaking of fasting) meals in Yemen is the increase in consuming honey, the Yemeni produced and the imported kinds of it. The rich people and the well-to-do usually capable of buying the domestically produced natural honey of which Yemen produces about 1800 tons a year. The honey imported from Iran, Egypt and the United States of America and other origins is usually bought and consumed by the poor and limited income families as it costs cheaper than the domestic kinds of honey.
Marketing domestic honey has registered an increase rate of selling in the local market at the beginning of the month of fasting Ramadhan hitting a record of 45% of the total local production. The proportion of its exports of the same period recorded about 20% of the total gross production.
Commercial sources attributed the increase of Yemeni honey consumption in Ramadhan to demand for it by the rich people and the segments of medium incomes especially in the two governorates of Hadramout and Shabwa. Honey has been enlisted by the government among the important food products in its plan for development of non-oil exports in the bid for diversification of sources of national income. The sources have further explained that 20% of the total production of Yemeni honey has been exported abroad and 55% of the quantity was exported to the GCC countries.
This marketing increase in Yemeni honey has come as a result of the ministry of agriculture encouragement of thousands of families working in breeding bees and caring for beehives especially in moving among blossomed trees. This has increased the volume of production to reach 1800 tons this year compared to 1200 tons in 2000 and 1715 tons in 2002.
Honey breeders in Yemen are boastful of the good quality of their honey as their beehives do not need to use artificial feeding. Their agricultural areas have abundance of the source of blossoms nectar in summer and in winter and therefore the do not resort to wintry feeding with sugar for their bees, as this happens in Europe, North America and Russia where snow covers the trees. In Yemen blossoms of the trees of plum, apricot, peach, Christ’s-thorn almond and others remain available around the year due to the multi-climate of Yemen.
Honey-producing beehives are more spread in the areas of Douan in Hadramout and wadi Jardan in Shabwa. The one kilogram price in foreign markets reaches about 70 dollars and in the local markets to about 55 dollars and that is because of honey’s nutritious value and its medication benefits. Due to its high price in local market it is mainly fount at rich people dinner tables in Ramadhan while those of limited income usually buy the imported honey for the cheapness of its price in comparison with that of the local honey.
It is widely-thought that taking a quantity of Yemeni honey granules would treat sexual impotence for those suffering from this illness matching the Viagra medicine and gives the treated person a continuous capability of having sexual intercourse, unlike the medical compounds. The reason behind the good effectiveness of the Yemeni honey in treating sexual impotence is its high quality and freedom from cheating. Shops preparing the so-called wonderful blends for sexual potency sell them in certain containers bearing promotional slogans.
But fasting people in Ramadhan use honey as part of some meals and with dishes of sweets in addition to having it with pieces of bread to compensate the body the loss of calories it has lost during the hours of fasting.