KRG delivers first ever honey export to Qatar

As part of the Kurdistan Agriculture Export Initiative (KAEI), Prime Minister Masrour Barzani initiated a research plan to locate markets for the export of Kurdish agricultural products.
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani poses for a photo at a meeting of the Beekeepers Network Association of Kurdistan. (Photo: KRG)
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani poses for a photo at a meeting of the Beekeepers Network Association of Kurdistan. (Photo: KRG)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – As part of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) agenda to diversify its economy, support farmers, and empower the private sector, two tons of Kurdistan’s premium honey were delivered to Qatar by air on Wednesday.

An additional ton has been sold to local and national retailers in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, further supporting Kurdish beekeepers, with plans to make the produce appear on shelves next month.

This effort, supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, the Prime Minister’s Office, and the private sector, has involved more than 200 beekeepers, supported and created nearly 100 jobs, and established new relationships with retailers in new markets in Qatar and the Gulf. 

The KRG believes that this initiative will become a basis for more exports and create new bilateral trade opportunities between the Kurdistan Region and the Gulf.

The head of the Beekeepers Network Association of Kurdistan, Arif Sherwani, on Wednesday, told Kurdistan 24 that "The honey production last year was approximately 1,100 tons, but has been reduced by 50% this year due to the long rainy season in Kurdistan."

Sherwani also revealed that his association had met several times with the prime minister's office and discussed the export of honey.

“In coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, the KRG plans to export honey abroad in the near future,” he added and noted, "The KRG has taken on the preparations for exporting honey so that there are no problems in terms of facilitation.”

Regarding the price of honey, the beekeepers stated that everyone sets their own price, but the prices are not very expensive. “The price of refined honey is 40,000 dinars. It costs 50,000 dinars, while the cell is made for 60,000 to 70,000 dinars.”

According to the Association, there are about 15,000 beekeepers in the Kurdistan Region who oversee the care of 800,000 hives.

“To ensure the quality of Kurdistan Region honey with international standards, the first step of the test was conducted in February 2023 at the National Laboratory and Research Center (NLRC) laboratory in Fujairah, UAE. The second phase of testing was conducted at the General Society of Surveillance (SGS) in Dubai,” Sherwani added.

As part of the Kurdistan Agriculture Export Initiative (KAEI), Prime Minister Masrour Barzani initiated a research plan to locate markets for the export of Kurdish agricultural products. In 2022, pomegranates from the Kurdistan region, for the first time, were exported to the UAE.

The Gulf countries are also heavy consumers of Kurdish potatoes, which are heavily requested by international fast-food chains, such as KFC, McDonald’s and Hardee's, viewing both the quality and price of the product as unrivaled.

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani inspects honey produced by a local association. (Photo: KRG)
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani inspects honey produced by a local association. (Photo: KRG)
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani showcases honey produced by a local association. (Photo: KRG)
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani showcases honey produced by a local association. (Photo: KRG)
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani inspects a warehouse of a local honey producing association. (Photo: KRG)
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani inspects a warehouse of a local honey producing association. (Photo: KRG)
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani speaks with members of the Beekeepers Network Association of Kurdistan. (Photo: KRG)
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani speaks with members of the Beekeepers Network Association of Kurdistan and other businesspersons. (Photo: KRG)