Honey FPO Programme inaugurated by Agriculture Minister

The Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar recently inaugurated a cooperative programme for the beekeepers and honey collectors.  The programme was launched in 5 states.

Under the programme, five farmer producer organisations are to be set up in five states. They are to be established in East Champaran, Bihar; Bharatpur, Rajasthan; Morena Madhya Pradesh; Mathura, Uttar Pradesh; and Sundarbans, West Bengal. The organisations are to be set up by NAFED, National agricultural Cooperative marketing federation of India.

These farmer producer organisations were launched under the Scheme of Formation and Promotion of 10,000 FPO.

Role of NAFED in the plan

It will address the issues of beekeeping industry and will act as an intermediary to fill up the gaps between the elements of supply chain. It will ensure price remuneration to the beekeeping farmers. Also, it will work towards promotion of beekeeping as an occupation for unemployed women in the rural and tribal areas.

Also, it will help to change the lifestyle of small and marginal farmers which in turn will help India achieve the goal of doubling farmers income by 2022.

Beekeeping in India

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, India ranks 8th in the world in terms of honey production. It produces 64.9 thousand tonnes of honey per year. On other hand, China stands first in Honey production. It produces 550 thousand tonnes of honey per year.

Efforts of GoI to increase Honey production

The Government of India has allocated 500 crores under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan to increase Honey production in the country. The National Honey mission has been launched  and around 30 lakh farmers have been trained in beekeeping. The National Bee Board has created four modules to provide training to the farmers under the National Beekeeping and Honey mission. As compared to 2005, the honey production in the country has increased by 242 % in 2019.

Beekeeping Development Committee

The Beekeeping Development Committee was formed under the leadership of Bibek Debroy in 2019. The committee worked under the Economic Advisory Council of Prime Minister of India. The recommendations of the committee are as follows

  • The committee recommended to simplify the procedures of exporting honey.
  • According to the committee, the beekeeper industry should not be restricted to wax and honey only. It should also market other bee products such as royal jelly, propolis, pollen and bee venom.
  • Apiculture should be considered for advanced research under the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICMR).
  • More plantation of bee friendly flora should be encouraged.
  • The State Governments should be encouraged to adopt training and development of beekeepers.
  • The landless beekeepers should be considered as farmers.
  • The infrastructure of beekeeping should be developed for processing, storage and marketing of honey.

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