India taking steps to boost beekeeping activity
To boost beekeeping for ushering in ‘Sweet Revolution’ in the country, the Indian government has approved a central scheme ‘National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM)’. The aims of the scheme are overall promotion and development of scientific beekeeping, and production of quality honey and other beehive products. The scheme is being implemented through the National Bee Board as a central sector scheme, which is funded 100% by the Centre.
The government also approved the allocation for Rs 500 crore for the NBHM for three years (2020-21 to 2022-23). The mission was announced as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme.
The main objectives of NBHM are:
- Promoting holistic growth of the beekeeping industry for income & employment generation, providing livelihood support to farm and non-farm households and to enhance agriculture/ horticulture production.
- Developing additional infrastructural facilities for developing quality nucleus stock of honeybees, multiplication of stock by bee breeders, setting up of disease diagnostic labs, Integrated Beekeeping Development Centres (IBDCs)/ Centres of Excellence (CoEs) on Beekeeping, beekeeping equipment manufacturing units, etc. and post-harvest and marketing infrastructures, including honey processing plants, storages/cold storages, collection, branding and marketing.
- Setting up of the state-of-the-art quality control labs for testing of honey & other beehive products at regional levels and mini/satellite labs at district levels in main honey producing districts/states.
- To develop blockchain/traceability system for traceability of source of honey & other beehive products and using Information Technology (IT) tools in beekeeping, including online registration.
- To develop and facilitate honey corridors in potential areas.
- To promote agri-entrepreneurs & agri-startups for their involvement in beekeeping/honey production.
- To promote trade- agreements between beekeepers & traders/ honey processors/exporters.
- To promote, develop and disseminate latest and state-of-the-art technologies and skill development in beekeeping industry for production of honey & other high value beehive products.
- Empowerment of women through beekeeping.
- To maximize, economic, ecological and social benefits by diversification through beekeeping by production of higher quantity and good quality of honey and other high value beehive products viz. bee wax, bee pollen, propolis, royal jelly, comb honey and bee venom for domestic and export markets.
- To strengthen beekeepers by developing institutional framework through collective approach viz. formation of self-help groups (SHGs)/farmer-producer organisations (FPOs)/beekeepers’ cooperatives/federations.
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