TO PROMOTE the practice of bee-keeping among the masses, city-based Central Bee Research and Training Institute (CBRTI) will be distributing as many as 600 bee boxes to its former trainees for free.
The CBRTI, along with the Directorate of Forest Based Industries — working under the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) — have been working towards the implementation of the ‘Honey Mission’. In August last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a clarion call to increase farmers’ incomes by improving the production of honey through increased bee-keeping activities.
CBRTI Director R K Singh told The Indian Express, “Along with the bee boxes, we will provide other accessories necessary — hand gloves, mask, coat, among others — meant for bee keeping. Our initial target is to reach out to our former trainees who can boost in their existing business in honey generation.” “The distribution chain would then be forwarded to anybody willing to take up the activity, for which we will hold training,” he added.
Every state has identified a Bee Keeping Extension Centre, which will be responsible for dissemination of bee boxes after the bee keepers have been identified.
A total budget of Rs 6 crore has been allocated for training 1,500 farmers and those hailing from 21 selected states. As part of the project, as many as 15,000 bee boxes will be distributed.
As of now, 15 states, including Maharashtra, Jammu Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Andhra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, have been roped in for the mission.
Last year, nearly 8,500 people from 20 states were trained in bee keeping.
The pilot project under this mission was launched in Banaskantha in Gujarat, where 110 boxes were distributed among 79 farmers, while 50 other farmers were trained in honey collection.
As per the KVIC, there are three categories — most potential, medium potential and less potential states — under which Indian states have been placed. This has been done as per the favourable flora and weather conditions.
Some of the most potent states for honey processing would include Punjab, West Bengal, Bihar, Kerala, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttaranchal.