Business & Economy

Beekeeping boosts rural development and youth employment amid Covid crisis

By Cristina Yuste

Madrid, Jul 14 (efe-epa).- Beekeeping is looking to become an engine for growth in rural Spain to help communities grow, empower women and generate employment during the Covid-19 crisis.

Miguel Ángel Casado is a veteran beekeeper and a promoter of studies on insemination and breeding queens and professional training programs.

He is a staunch ambassador of the beneficial effects of apitherapy, an alternative therapy using honeybee products, and the traditional uses of honey.

Casado, who for two years was president of the Spanish Association of Beekeepers, has promoted the reconstruction of ancient Roman apiaries on his land in Spain.

He says the fact that two young people from the Sierra de la Virgen Vocational Training Institute in Illueca, Zaragoza, decided to carve out a future for themselves in the profession after completing a basic course on beekeeping “makes you think that people realize what you have, you value your village more”.

He is concerned that “once we overcome this critical situation generated by the pandemic, they will forget it or that whoever decides to take the option of working in a village will not find opportunities”.

Laura Provincial, a professor at the institute, says the project, which has been suspended during lockdown, “tried to articulate through beekeeping all the modules that are taught in the professional training cycles on the use of forest resources and conservation of the natural environment”.

“We can see all the contents, from plant production to reforestation and forest exploitation, and students acquire a series of theoretical and practical knowledge that allows them to carry out a job tomorrow that in many cases is falling into oblivion and in others needs more technification and preparation,” she adds.

Provincial explains that “it is about giving them the tools to be able to generate wealth in their own village because we want to establish young people and develop a profession that we believe in the future”.

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