National Bee Board (NBB), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, in collaboration with National Seed Research and Training Centre (NSRTC) Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, organized a National Workshop on Role of Agri Start-ups in Honey Value Chain at NSRTC Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Beekeepers, honey Startups and FPOs, stakeholders in beekeeping, officials from various Ministries/ Government Organizations/ Institutes, State Departments of Horticulture, State Agricultural Universities (SAUs)/ Central Agricultural Universities (CAUs), etc participated in the workshop.
In his opening remarks, Dr. N. K. Patle, Additional Commissioner (Horticulture) and Executive Director, NBB briefed about the role of role of Agri Start-ups in Honey Value Chain. He also highlighted the role of National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM) and its contribution in the beekeeping sector, including promotion & facilitation for honey startups and FPOs. He highlighted that implementation of NBHM scheme is also intended to strengthen the infrastructure facilities for honey collection, storage, processing, testing & branding centers, which ultimately enhance the potential of beekeeping in the nation. He invited Honey Startups & FPOs to avail the facilities available under NBHM and adopt beekeeping in a scientific manner to get additional income through honey & other beehive products.
Addressing the participants in the workshop, Dr. Sudhashu Singh, Director, ISARC Varanasi said that the Government is committed towards increasing the overall potential of beekeeping industry in the country, including supporting the honey startups and FPOs in beekeeping. He mentioned that in order to alter the scenario of the Indian agriculture and beekeeping, it is essential to emphasize more on small and marginal beekeepers and small entrepreneurs who form the majority in Indian agricultural economy. NBHM is supporting agri- entrepreneurs/ startups for their involvement in beekeeping/ Honey production. He mentioned that promotion and formation of FPOs is the first step for converting Krishi into Atmanirbhar Krishi and for this he assured that implementation of NBHM scheme will bring the revolutionary changes by strengthening the institutional framework in beekeeping sector and information & promotion of Honey startups.
Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, Additional Secretary, DA&FW mentioned that working in line with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s clarion call towards creating AtmaNirbhar Bharat, focus is on nurturing potential budding Agri-startups & FPOs through support under NBHM scheme and motivate them to choose beekeeping as an attractive career. He assured that implementation of NBHM will upgrade skills in scientific beekeeping, setting up of state-of-the-art infrastructural facilities for processing honey and allied beekeeping products like bee’s wax, propolis, royal jelly, bee venom, etc., quality upgradation by quality control laboratories and create better supply chain by setting up of collection, storage, bottling and marketing centres.
Dr. M.P. Yadav, Director, NSRTC, Varanasi stated that such kind of workshops/ awareness programs provide handheld platform and create awareness among budding agri-startups to come forward in the potential agriculture and horticulture sector, including beekeeping. He assured support to participants in various aspects relating to startups in beekeeping.
Start-ups from MANAGE and other states like Tribe Grown Enterprise, Amravati, Maharashtra; Vanabandhu NRMS (OPC) Pvt. Ltd., Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh; Raghunti Bee Products, Rohtak, Haryana; Madhu Makhi Wala, Barabanki, U.P; Mr. Satish Sharma from Brij Honeyfed FPOs of NAFED; and Mr. Ranjeet Kumar, Innovative Bee Farms Private Limited shared their experience and explained about their products being marketed in the country. They also highlighted the importance of Honey Value Chain being created by various stakeholders. These startups are promoting honey sector by Queen breeding, comb, raw honey production and food supplement of bee pollen.