One of the values of the World Farmers’ Organisation is the exchange of knowledge between different agricultural practices and experiences among our members, as well as that between WFO members and other farmers of the world. On Friday, the 21st of July, 2017 we had the honor to receive a social worker from Oman, Ms. Badriya Al Siyabi, who wanted to learn about beekeeping and honey production in Italy.
Ms. Al Siyabi is working with the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, to develop an NGO in Oman in the hopes to increase tourism and at the same time boost the local economy. Since in Oman there is a shortage of rainfall, Ms. Al Siyabi proposed to develop the NGO based on apiculture, which does not require as much rainfall as agriculture does. With this in her mind, she decided to come to one of the richest beekeeping countries to see for herself the beautiful and delicious process of honey production.
With the generous help from Coldiretti, who helped organize the visits, the WFO took Ms. Al Siyabi and her Italian friend Ms. Graziella, to learn more about beekeeping. Our first stop was with beekeeper Mr. Alberto Angelini, (farmer and member of Coldiretti) who showed us his beehives and told us how he started producing honey as a hobby with her wife with only three beehives, today he owns more than fifty, which he builds from scratch. He explained the entire process, from him building the beehives, to feeding the bees, to removing the honey, and selling the already packed honey at local markets. He even let us try the honey straight from the beehive, which was delightful, especially since the honey was made from eucalyptus trees, making the flavor richer and the smell stronger. Ms. Al Siyabi took the advantage to ask as many questions as she could, with the purpose of learning about the beekeeping practice in Italy so that she could take this knowledge back to Oman. By doing so Ms. Al Siyabi will promote a successful exchange of information and best practices between two very different countries and cultures. She learned how rainfall and seasons affect the selection of the honey production, with a shortage of rainfall, beekeepers opt for honey derived from trees, making her realize that therefore the honey production she is trying to develop in Oman will be probably derived from trees, since Oman is a country with an average annual rainfall of 80-100 mm.
The beekeeper Mr. Angelini offered her to get a closer look at the bees in the beehive which she enthusiastically agreed. After getting enough information and clearing out any doubts she had about honey production, we thanked the generous beekeeper Mr. Angelini and left for out next stop, an agritourism.
We continued our visit to a nearby agritourism called “Agriturismo Casale del Catellaccio”, a beautiful organic zootechnical farm that has been going for five family generations and extends over 200 hectares in the area of Fuimicino, in the outsides of Rome. In the agritourism, Mr. Claudio Lauteri, one of the family owners (member of Coldiretti) showed us around and explained about their meat production, mainly the requirements and procedures the government sets to maintain the standards of an organic farm. The animals were clean, had spacious areas to be in, and more importantly, were highly nourished. After seeing around the zootechnical farm, the Lauteri family invited us for a pleasant lunch, and the best part being that everything was organic and locally produced.
After visiting the beekeeper and learning about honey production, and later visiting the agritourism and understanding the practices of a zootechnical organic farm, we can successfully say our visitor received enough information to take back home. We hope Ms. Al Siyabi makes good use of the knowledge learned in Italy and we wish her the best of luck in her endeavors to create an NGO based in apiculture. The World Farmers’ Organisation is pleased to keep on promoting exchanges on best practices, knowledge, visions and experiences in order to promote a richer and more knowledgeable community and promote awareness for more fruitful agricultural exchanges.