The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW), Government of India celebrated World Bee Day on 20th May, 2023 at Raja Bhoj Agriculture College, Waraseoni Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh. The World Bee Day celebration was graced by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar in the august presence of Agriculture Minister, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh, Chairman, OBC Welfare Commission, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh, Chairman, NDDB and other dignitaries on the dais.
In his deliberation, Shri Tomar mentioned that under the “10,000 FPO Scheme” of the Government of India, in order to strengthen the beekeepers in the country by developing the institutional framework for collective development, 100 bee keepers / honey producers FPOs have been allocated under NBHM for which TRIFED, NAFED and NDDB have been selected. In this sequence, a total of 80 FPOs of bee keepers /honey producers have been registered. Further he stated that there is huge potential for honey production in this area which must be utilized for increasing farmer’s income.
During the World Bee Day celebration, an Exhibition with over 100 stalls were set up by Beekeepers, processors and different stake holders of beekeeping sector to showcase the diverse varieties of honey bee and different products in beekeeping sector. More than 1000 farmers, beekeepers, processors, entrepreneurs and all stakeholders associated with honey production attended the programme. A workshop with three technical sessions was organized on different themes. Need of Research & Development to promote Scientific Beekeeping for Income Generation. Driving Growth through Effective Marketing Strategies for Domestic & Export Market. Production Technology and Research & Development of Scientific Beekeeping- Experience Sharing and Challenges. Productive Partnership in Honey- Industries Insights. Marketing Challenges and Solutions (Domestic/ Global).
The programme is aimed at promoting and popularizing beekeeping nation-wide National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM) of the Govt. of India under Atma-Nirbhar Bharat. The NBHM is implemented through the National Bee Board for overall promotion of scientific beekeeping & entrepreneurship among small & marginal farmers, infrastructure development for postharvest management and support for research & development and to achieve the goal of “Sweet Revolution”.
The significant achievements in honey production through short video film were played on this occasion. The participants from the different categories were felicitated for their significant contribution in this sector. Different honey products Start-up’s/ FPOs releases of publication on bee keeping were launched. On this occasion the Honey Testing Labs were virtually inaugurated by Hon’ble Agriculture Minister viz., Regional Testing lab- IIHR, Bengaluru, Karnataka, Regional Testing lab, IARI, Pusa New Delhi, Mini Honey Testing Lab SKUAST Kashmir at KVK, Kupwara, J&K, Mini Honey Testing Lab, KVK, Damoh, Madhya Pradesh, Mini Honey Testing Lab, Banaskantha District Co-op. Milk Prod. Uni. Ltd. Palanpur, Gujarat, Mini Honey Testing Lab, College of Agriculture, Pashighat, Arunachal Pradesh; Mini Honey Testing Lab, NIFTEM, Sonipat, Haryana; Bee Disease Diagnostic Center, FCRI, Hyderabad, Telangana. On this occasion he also inaugurated Bee box Manufacturing Units- Honey & Other Beehive Products Collection centres, Trading, Branding and Marketing units at Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh & Uttar Pradesh.
Diversified agro-climatic conditions of India provide great potential for beekeeping/ honey production. India is producing about 1,33,200 Metric Tonnes (MTs) of Honey as per 2021-22- 3rd Advanced Estimate. India has exported 74413 MT of Natural Honey to the world worth Rs. 1221 crore (US $ 164.835 million) during 2020-21. The scientific technology being adopted for increasing production and testing of honey by maintaining quality standards for national and international markets and promoting the production of other beehive products viz.; bee pollen, bees wax, royal jelly, propolis & bee venom. This has facilitated the beekeepers to increase their income and increased demand of honey and beehive products both in the domestic and international markets.
Bees are renowned for their role in providing high-quality food and other products used in healthcare and other sectors but the work of bees entails much more. The greatest contribution of bees and other pollinators is the pollination of nearly three quarters of the plants that produce 90% of the world’s food. Effective pollination increases the yield of agricultural produce and improves their quality. Beekeeping in India is thus an important agri-business activity that not only promises good returns to the farmers but also helps increase agricultural productivity leading to food and nutritional security of the country.