National Workshop on “Technological Interventions & Innovations in the Beekeeping Sector”

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Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare organized a National Workshop on Technological Interventions & Innovations in the Beekeeping” at Budni, Madhya Pradesh today under the National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM) in collaboration with Central Farm Machinery Training and Testing Institute (CFMT&TI), Budni. Around 500 progressive beekeepers/ Stakeholders, startups, Entrepreneurs, officials of State Govts., scientists from Central & State Agriculture Universities, honey processors, etc. attended the programme and more than 100 participants joined the workshop virtually from other parts of the country.

In the chairmanship remarks, Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, Additional Secretary, DA&FW, mentioned that the honey sector will enlarge by using advanced tools in beekeeping. It is an emerging sector of agriculture for earning a source of livelihood for rural, urban, and entrepreneurial communities with the least investment. It is an agriculture-allied practise that can accelerate the economy and employment of local and farming communities. Beekeeping is an agricultural art that requires scientific as well as practical exercises for proper management and collection of honey and beehive products, and as NBHM has approved and set up 31 mini-testing labs and 4 regional labs for quality honey production in the nation to avoid adulteration in honey, which helps to increase exports of honey and allied products to boost the sector. He also highlighted the initiative taken by the NBHM for GI tagging in honey, which will help to boost rural areas by increasing revenue for the producers and employment in the region through beekeeping and honey production. The good quality of the products opens the national as well as international door for the honey producers.

            Earlier, in his welcome remarks at the National Workshop, Shri Anil Upadhyaya, Director, CFMT&TI, Budni, thanked the NBHM, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare for this opportunity to conduct this National Level workshop and focused on the farmers, beekeepers, start-ups and FPOs of Madhya Pradesh region as this region is rich in agriculture with a large number of potential farmers and has a scope in development of beekeeping. He stated that beekeeping is a low-investment, highly efficient enterprise model that is emerging as a springboard for technology application and socio-economic development. Through this approach, beekeeping is helpful in increasing the livelihood of farmers and other people. Several steps have been taken by the Government of India to increase the income of the farmers. In this context, the Sweet Revolution initiative by the Government of India is an ambitious initiative aimed at promoting ‘Beekeeping’ to increase the production of quality honey and other allied products.

Dr. N. K. Patle, Additional Commissioner (Horticulture) and Executive Director, National Bee Board (NBB) gave a brief presentation on the role and achievements under NBHM in the country, the success stories of beneficiaries assisted under NBHM, opportunities for beekeepers, agri start-ups/ stakeholders under NBHM, etc.

Addressing the attendees of workshop, he said that technical advancements in beekeeping is very important. He stated that the government has initiated steps to maximize the total potential of the beekeeping industry, especially by assisting farmers, beekeepers, honey startups and FPOs. He added that the NBHM has approved 31 Mini Testing Labs and 4 Regional labs to ensure the quality of the honey produced in the country. NBHM has also developed Madhukranti portal, which is a great initiative to provide nationwide beekeeping data through registration of beekeepers and other stakeholders.

He informed that NBHM is also providing assistance to agri-entrepreneurs/ startups to encourage and start beekeeping/ honey production. He said the promotion and formation of FPOs is the first step for converting Krishi into Atmanirbhar Krishi and for this he assured that the implementation of NBHM scheme will bring the revolutionary changes by using technologies and innovations to strengthen beekeeping sector. He also invited all beekeeping stakeholders to come forward to avail assistance under NBHM and start beekeeping and honey production within and outside the country. He also requested the farmers, beekeepers/ other stakeholders to avail the facilities available under NBHM and adopt beekeeping in a scientific manner to increase income and enhance the life of farmers and beekeepers through production and marketing of honey & other beehive products.

Shri Yovraju A., Business Manager, MANAGE briefed about the potential of Agri Startups in beekeeping sector and mentioned that this is a one-stop solution for creating successful ventures in Agriculture & Allied sectors. He proposed further work on literature on beekeeping and said it must be available in different regional languages to make more outreach of the scheme. He suggested more capacity building programs and setting up ecosystem for startups and entrepreneurs in beekeeping sector and also shared success stories of startups supported by NBHM.

Shri Manoj Patel (Bundeli Honey) and Shri Bhavesh (Tribe Grown) start-ups, assisted under NBHM, shared their success stories on how they increased revenue and income through beekeeping industry from a meagre beginning to a significant enterprise.

Shri Suman Singh Merawi, beekeeper/farmer from Balaghat, shared his impressive journey in beekeeping and honey production and inspired the younger generation to adopt this practice as their passion and turn it into a source of income generation to protect the agricultural heritage and contribute to the sector.

Smt. Kavita Rajput, Mekalsuta from Shelf Help Group of Narmadapuram Dist. M.P., who is producing raw forest honey and generating good income out of it, also shared the importance of beekeeping in conservation of the environment and set an example for women that beekeeping is not only for men, but a woman can also make it her source of livelihood.

Dr. Manoj Ahirwar Scientist, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Damoh, JNKVV, M.P briefed about Technological intervention for yield enhancement in Agricultural/Horticultural Crops by using advanced tools in beekeeping. By using better beehive technology, we can have a significant positive impact on honey output and increase horticultural production. Beekeepers need to be encouraged to adopt or continue using the technology because the return on investment, i.e. productivity increases, is realised. Since improved beehive technology adoption has multiplier effects ranging from increased beekeeping productivity to economic growth and poverty reduction, the development of Bee Breeders for the enhancement of the beekeeping sector can be achieved by recognising desirable characters among the varieties of honeybees and by implementing systematic and planned activities aimed at the sustained genetic improvement of the honey bee population.

He also described the role of the NBHM and its support for the beekeeping industry among farmers, beekeepers and students to accept and start beekeeping and honey production, as well as increase their income. He has also enlightened the farmers of Madhya Pradesh that there is immense potential for honey production in the state as there are many potential farmers and the tribal population is high, which creates more potential for beekeeping and honey production. Beekeeping will be promoted in villages and several other districts of Madhya Pradesh, which are rich in agriculture and have sizeable indigenous population. The latest step by the NBHM will not only help raise beekeeping and honey production and crop protection but also provide livelihood to the indigenous population in the districts of Madhya Pradesh.

Dr. Pramod Mall, Principal Scientist, GB Pant, University, Pantnagar (Uttarakhand), highlighted the Development of Quality Nucleus Stock Centre as an essential practice to improve and increase honey production.

Dr. R.K. Thakur, Retd. Professor, Dr. Y. S. Parmar University, stated the importance and specification of Honey Bee Disease & Diagnostic Centers which may help with inspection for bee diseases, which is an important part of beekeeping. Apiary inspectors and beekeepers must be able to recognize bee diseases and parasites and differentiate the serious diseases from the less important ones. Honey Bee Disease & Diagnostic Centres’ goals are to safeguard and deliver quality bees for the safety of beekeepers, identify parasites, pests, and other abnormalities of the honey bee using laboratory techniques used to diagnose illnesses and protect and enhance honey production.

Shri Hriday Darji, Scientist, NDDB briefed about “Honey Testing Labs for Basic Parameters in honey testing” and said the latest interventions are being brought about to produce good quality honey in huge quantity to uplift our beekeepers by avoiding adulteration in honey and provide market and increase sale and export of honey.

Shri Rajeev Paliwal of CFMT&TI gave the vote of thanks to all the delegates and stakeholders for sharing and deliberation of  informative knowledge among all which may help the NBHM to come forward and join hands with the State Horticulture Department and Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) Gujarat, NAFED, MANAGE, Hyderabad, Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Gwalior., etc to make aware the farmers and beekeepers specially in MP region as the region has immense potential in beekeeping sector and provide all possible assistance to boost the sector in the country as well.

Dr. Likhi, who was the Chief Guest at the National Workshop, also inaugurated an exhibition under the NBHM. The participants of FPOs /Honey Startups and Beekeepers of KVKs of Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) Gujarat, National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED), National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), Hyderabad, KVKs of Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Gwalior, Chaudhary Charan Singh National Institute of Agricultural Marketing (CCS-NIAM) and Jaipur Honey showcased the honey and beehives products. Dr. Likhi appreciated the technologies and innovation in honey production and modern mechanism presented in exhibitions by the NBHM stakeholders.

A book published by Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya (JNKVV), Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, was launched during the session of book launching and two products were launched namely Raw Forest Honey by Mekalsuta Shelf Help Group of Narmadapuram District, M.P., and Chamatsya Honey by FPO of Morena district.

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PK

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Source PIB