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Soon, a honey cluster in district to aid farming

A cluster project to promote beekeeping in the district.

Published On: 02-02-2015

Nashik: The National Bee Board, under the department of agriculture and co-operation of the central government, is planning to introduce a cluster project to promote beekeeping in the district. This will be the first cluster project in the district and the government will provide 40% of the total project cost. A group of 25 farmers will be set up, which will create 50 bee colonies at a cost of Rs 50,000 (Rs 2,000 for each colony). Around four to five colonies can be created on each acre depending on the crops or orchards in the vicinity. An average around 60 kg of honey is produced per annum from each colony.

B L Saraswat, executive director, NBB, under the department of agriculture and co-operation of the central government, said, "We are planning to introduce a cluster project to promote beekeeping in the district. Each cluster will include a group of 25 farmers. Initially, they will be provided training in bee-keeping. The government will contribute 40% of the total project cost up to Rs 10 lakh, while stake-holders will have to contribute 60% of the cost."

"Beekeeping is a very fascinating occupation. Honey bees play an important role in pollinating agricultural and horticultural crops and increase the yield and improve the quality of produce. Beekeeping supplements income generation for the rural people. Honeybees have been offering services to the society through ensured pollination in cross-pollinated crops as well as providing honey and a variety of byproducts. Bees are a less expensive input for prompting sustainable and eco-friendly agriculture and enhancing crop productivity. Bee pollination increases yields of various crops, including fruits and vegetables, oilseeds, pulses and others from 2% to 13150%. The income generated through enhancement in crop yield is much more than the income generated from honey production."

The beekeeping industry has various benefits like providing self-employment to rural and forest-based population, production of honey, pollen, beeswax and royal jelly, employment to rural educated youths in collecting, processing and marketing of bee products, and cross-pollination of various agricultural and horticultural crops and improving their quality and increasing their yields.

In India, honey is not used in the form of food as its per capita per year consumption is only about 8.40g, while it is considered as food in other countries. In Germany, the per capita honey consumption is 200 g, while it is 600 g in Japan. The world production of honey is estimated at about 14 lakh metric tonnes. There are 15 countries in the world which account for 90% of the world honey production. China is the only Asian country producing nearly 2.5 lakh metric tonnes of honey. China produces about 13,000 metric tonnes of beeswax as against 43,500 metric tonnes of world production.



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