Other States

Honey production changing Bharatpur’s rural economy

Beekeepers with their bee boxes  at Nagla Kalyan village in Bharatpur district.

Beekeepers with their bee boxes at Nagla Kalyan village in Bharatpur district. | Photo Credit: de17 bees ANKITA

Providing an alternative livelihood model to the farmers, honey production in the vast mustard fields in eastern Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district is changing the face of rural economy. The beekeeping activities have turned the backward region into a “honey bowl” amid increasing cost of farm inputs and shrinking size of agricultural land.

Beekeepers from the nondescript Nagla Kalyan village attended a virtual communication with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the district headquarters on the New Year’s Day. They informed him about the formation of the Honey Fed farmer producer organisation (FPO), with which they intend to expand their activities. About 400 farmers in the district, who have become the FPO’s members, intend to take forward their work, doing away with the role of middlemen.

The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) will help Honey Fed in branding and collective marketing of honey and explore overseas markets for them. The FPO will shortly get an equity grant of ₹15 lakh for installation of a honey processing plant on the warehousing premises in the local industrial area.

The honey production in Bharatpur, a leading mustard producing district, has been estimated at 3,520 metric tonnes in 2021. Honeybees carry out cross-pollination of the yellow mustard flowers leading to 20 to 25% increase in the crop yield, which has also encouraged the farmers to take up beekeeping as an agriculture-based activity.

Hardayal Singh, 48, a farmer from Nagla Kalyan, who was among the first to adopt apiculture as an occupation, told The Hindu that it had an immense potential to provide livelihood to marginal farmers, unemployed youths and landless labourers.

The formation of the FPO for honey production, which is among the five set up in the country, will enable the honey exporters to purchase the product directly from beekeepers in view of the heavy demand for honey and wax in Europe and West Asia. “The announcement of MSP for honey can also be a significant step to support the beekeepers,” Mr. Singh said.


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Printable version | Feb 13, 2022 11:05:28 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/honey-production-changing-bharatpurs-rural-economy/article38279980.ece