In a bid to encourage locals to conserve mangrove forests, the Mangrove Cell will soon introduce apiculture. The GOI-United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) committee, which met in Mumbai last week, has approved a Rs 2.73-lakh proposal to impart apiculture training to locals of Sindhudurg.
The Suprakruti Madhushala from Nashik, which runs the state’s first and only organic farm where indigenous and exotic (Italian and other Indian) honeybee species are maintained, will impart the training and provide 10 bee colonies to villagers to begin apiculture in the mangrove forests.
The best quality honey is produced from Aegialitis rotundifolia and Cynometra ramiflora, according to the mangrove cell. “Though our duty is to protect mangroves on government land alone, we are also trying to ensure that people with mangroves on their land earn some livelihood from conserving these. Once this project is successful, we will implement it throughout the state,” said N Vasudevan, Chief Conservator of Forests, Mangrove Cell.
In addition to this, for scientific conservation of mangroves, the state will launch a mangrove gene bank. Sindhudurg is home to several rare, endangered and threatened species such as cannonball mangrove (Xylocarpus granatum), Burma mangrove (Bruguiera gymnorrhiza), tall-stilt mangrove (Rhizophora apiculatta) and apple mangrove (Sonneratia caseolaris), some of which are rarely found elsewhere on the Western coast, according to the cell.