As the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is set to celebrate the “World Bee Day” on May 20, the Rs 500 crore package announced by Hon’ble Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday for the development of beekeeping industry has come as a complete relief package for the farmers, Adivasi and unemployed youths in India. The Rs 500 crore package, announced with the prime objective of increasing farmers’ and beekeepers’ income, will also achieve multiple intermediate goals like increase in honey production, growing India’s farm yield by over 35 percent through cross pollination and maintaining the ecological balance. The ultimate goal is realizing the dream of “Sweet Kranti” in India.
After taking over as the Minister of MSME in May 2019, Hon’ble Shri Nitin Gadkari had desired to achieve the dream of “Sweet Kranti”. Credit goes to Shri Gadkari for the financial support that would ensure success of the mission.
With the financial boost, India will figure among the top three honey producing countries in the world soon. At present India, ranks eighth in terms of honey-producing countries, China being the largest producer in the world.
KVIC Chairman, Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena said the ‘Honey Mission’ is aimed at fulfilling Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s call for a “Sweet Kranti in the country ”. He said the growth of beekeeping industry will enhance the farm produce in the country and ultimately result into increase in the income of farmers and beekeepers. In just less than three years, the KVIC distributed over 1.33 lakh bee Boxes across the length and breadth of the country – from Kashmir in North to Kanyakumari down South and from Sundarbans in East to the Western coast of Maharashtra.
“The beekeeping industry alone covers 5 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of United Nations, i.e. livelihood generation, fight against hunger, promoting biodiversity, alleviate hunger and maintaining the ecosystem. Further, increasing the consumption of honey will have health benefits too as it enhances immunity,” Saxena said. ” Apart from direct benefit to farmers, Adivasis, beekeepers, this special allocation will become the perfect launched pad for Sweet Kranti in the country and will open up multiple job opportunities in fileds such as manufacturing of Bee Boxes, beehives tools, rearing of bee colonies and honey Processing units,” Saxena further said.
Currently, the honey consumption in India is less than 5 gram per person per year while it varies between 1 kg – 2kg in other countries of the world.
Honey Mission was launched by KVIC with a small budget of Rs 10 crore in 2017-18, and KVIC got an allocation of Rs 49 crores from Ministry of MSME 2018-19. In less than three years,13,466 Beekeepers have been trained and a whopping 1.33 Lakh Bee boxes have been distributed and they are actively engaged in Honey production.
In June 2018, The KVIC created a world record of distributing 2330 bee boxes, the maximum number of bee-boxes distribution in a single day. This was achieved by the KVIC in Kupwara in Kashmir beating its previous best of 1000 bee boxes distributed to the mishing tribe of Kaziranga forest area, Assam in May 2018.
Beekeeping has larger environmental benefits too. At least 35% of global agriculture land is affected by Pollination.
In recent years, India’s honey production has grown. India exported 61,333 MT of Natural Honey to the world worth Rs 732.1 Crore during the year 2018-19. USA, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Qatar have been the major importers of India’s Honey.