Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare organized a National Workshop on “Technological Interventions & Innovations in the Beekeeping” at Budni, Madhya Pradesh 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 would enlarge by using advanced tools in beekeeping. It is an emerging agriculture sector 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.

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 increase honey exports 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 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 the development of beekeeping. He stated that beekeeping is a low-investment, highly efficient enterprise model emerging as a springboard for technology application and socio-economic development.

Through this approach, beekeeping helps increase the livelihood of farmers and other people. The Government of India has taken several steps 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 of NBHM in the country, the success stories of beneficiaries assisted under NBHM, opportunities for beekeepers, agri start-ups/ stakeholders under NBHM, etc.

Addressing the workshop attendees, he said that technical advancements in beekeeping are very important. He stated that the government had 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 had approved 31 Mini Testing Labs and 4 Regional labs to ensure the quality of the honey produced in the country. NBHM has also developed the Madhukranti portal, a great initiative to provide nationwide beekeeping data through registering beekeepers and other stakeholders.

He informed that NBHM also assists agri-entrepreneurs/ startups to encourage and start beekeeping/ honey production. He said promoting and forming FPOs is the first step for converting Krishi into Atmanirbhar Krishi. For this, he assured that implementing the NBHM scheme will bring revolutionary changes by using technologies and innovations to strengthen the 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 scientifically adopt beekeeping to increase income and enhance the life of farmers and beekeepers through the production and marketing of honey & other beehive products.

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.

Manoj Patel (Bundeli Honey) and 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.

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.

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.

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