Thirty-year-old Pardeep Kumar has become a source of inspiration to farmers in Punjab,Haryana,Himachal Pradesh,J&K and Rajasthan. From being landless 10 years ago,Kumar has built a successful bee keeping business,which earns him more than a lakh in a month.
The Class XII graduate from Badal village in Mukstar,says he began with 6 bee nest boxes but now has more than 6,000 of them,spread across five states.
The progressive farmer has also been imparting training to youngsters to ensure that they earn a good income even if they dont have any land holding.
The journey,Kumar says,has not been smooth. His family had been through trouble as his father had expired some 20 years ago. When he was about 21,the progressive farmer says he underwent bee keeping training at Bhatinda Krishi Vigyan Kendra about 10 years back and today he is well settled.
I started work with investment of about Rs 35,000 and my monthly income used to be less than Rs 800 a month. I used to shift the honey bee boxes to the neighbouring states as per the flowering season. This increased the productivity and today I have more than 6,000 boxes. I have employed 7 workers. Each one of us handle 70-100 boxes efficiently. About 50 kg of honey yield comes from one box, Kumar says.
He,however,does not process the honey but sells his produce to processing companies like Kashmir Appiaries in Doraha and Shakti Enterprises in Malerkotla.
Apart from this,he has signed a contract with the Mukstar horticulture department,to sell 2,000 honey bee boxes to farmers in various states at Rs 3,000 per box. If he achieves this target,Kumar will get an additional Rs 3 lakh as subsidy.
DC Paramjit Singh says: We are giving 50 per cent subsidy to the farmers on the purchase of honey bee boxes.
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