Guwahati seminar highlights potential of Assam honey industry

Guwahati (Assam), June 1 (ANI): A seminar was organised recently in Guwahati to create awareness about the potential of the honey industry

The northeast has abundant natural resources, which if utilised properly, can be speed up development of the region.

The seminar was organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in association with the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC).

Beekeepers from Assam, Nagaland and Meghalaya attended the seminar.

Suchil Kumar Singla, Executive Director, National Bee Board (NBB), said: "This is a platform for all stakeholders in the honey industry. Farmers, traders and exporters can come here, share their problems, and find solutions."

FICCI also awarded three farmers from Nagaland, and one from Assam, for their contribution to the region's honey industry.

With a forest cover of 65 percent, the Northeast has huge potential to develop as a honey producing region.

Honey collected from the jungles in the region has a high level of purity. This can give it an edge in the world market where there is a huge demand for organic honey.

Chubanuggla Shilu, an NBHM official, said: "We have trained about 40,000 beekeepers so far in the last five years. Lots of people are coming forward to take up beekeeping as an alternative livelihood source. Even the younger generation is showing interest because beekeeping is so easy and simple that anybody can take it up.

As a part of the seminar, stalls of different groups, including the Nagaland Beekeeping and Honey Mission, were set up to promote honey production in the state.

Nagaland is fast emerging as a honey producing hub. Under the Nagaland Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM), established in 2007, honey production has increased three-fold. The state currently produces 380 metric tonnes of honey.

T Chuba Ao, a beekeeper from Mokokchang district of Nagaland, has been involved in the industry since 1977, and has written a book about beekeeping in the local AO language.

"I tell people about the benefits of this industry and create awareness. The number of beekeepers is growing. I want my book on beekeeping to be published in all Naga languages so that farmers can benefit from it," he said.

Khekato, a bee keeper, said: " I got much help from the NBHM about technical aspects, how to do things, when to do them and everything about beekeeping. And, it is because of NBHM that I got the award."

Under the horticulture mission that was implemented in 2001, 50 per cent subsidy is given to beekeepers from the Northeast to encourage them to take up apiculture. (ANI)

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