LISBON, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- The first batches of 120 tonnes of sugar were delivered to Portuguese beekeepers on Wednesday, as part of an initiative to support farmers affected by devastating forest fires.
With wild fires having destroyed local flora in much of the central region of the country, beekeepers had been struggling to maintain colonies. The local honey industry was thus severely under threat.
Secretary of State for Food and Agriculture Luis Medeiros Vieira told the Portuguese Lusa News Agency that the sugar supply scheme would protect 140,000 hives and support 28 honey-producing organizations.
Beekeepers can combine the sugar with water and place the mixture close to hives.
The government has also established financial credit lines available to people whose livelihoods in crop and animal husbandry have been jeopardized by the fires.
According to the Institute of Nature and Forest Conservation (ICNF), 442 hectares have been destroyed by fires in Portugal in 2017, the worst year on record.