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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: The Sustainable Agricultural Rural Development Program, or Reef Saudi, has launched bee clinics in Jeddah, Jazan, Madinah and Abha, providing examination, diagnosis, guidance and aids to beekeepers, and empowering small producers.
The bee clinics will provide beekeepers with a guide manual, collect and examine samples, send instructions for development according to the samples, develop and update a database of pests and diseases affecting bees, and alert relevant departments if needed.
The launch of the four clinics aims to protect the “bee wealth” of the Kingdom from diseases and pests, increase the number of local bee colonies to contribute to achieving self-sufficiency and maintain and operate mobile clinics, providing examination services to beekeepers in their locations.
“I am thankful to the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture for their continued support to farmers in the Kingdom,” said Hasan Al-Qarni, owner of Azhar Tabuk apiaries.
“Bee clinics serve us greatly as beekeepers, from diagnosing bee diseases, guiding beekeepers, examining bees, providing consultation to beekeepers, developing sustainable solutions and overcoming challenges faced by us as beekeepers in the Kingdom,” he said.
Al-Qarni recently won first place in the Arab honey competition, competing against beekeepers from several Arab countries. He also won a gold medal and third place in beehive product innovations, a clear result of the support provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Water for beekeepers in the Kingdom.
Reef Saudi, targeting the honey sector, has succeeded in making remarkable progress toward food security and self-sufficiency at a rate of 49 percent.
The volume of honey production increased from 2,100 tons in 2020 to 3,748 tons this year, with the program aiming to produce 7,500 tons of honey by 2026.
According to the Reef Saudi program, since the recent launch of the bee clinics, 6,016 samples have been received, and among them, exploratory, preliminary and confirmatory examinations have been conducted, along with developing a database for diseases and pests found during survey campaigns.
The Reef program aims to support, qualify and enhance the capabilities of farmers and rural families to improve the agricultural sector, increase efficiency and productivity, and elevate the standard of living and lifestyle of small farmers, making it possible for farmers and beekeepers to access markets, agricultural services and resources.
Reef plays a crucial role in advancing crop cultivation across Saudi Arabia.
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