KARNATAKA

Govt. urged to retain apiculture under KVIC

MADIKERI, AUG. 21. Kodagu Progressive Honey Producers' Cooperative Society Ltd. has urged the State Government not to remove apiculture from the purview of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in the Department of Industries and Commerce and bring it under the Department of Horticulture.

K.K. Gopala, president of the society, said the KVIC had done good work to boost honey production in the district. It had come to the aid of beekeepers in times of crisis.

Honey production, which had gone down because of the "thaisac brood disease" in bees, was slowly improving owing to the introduction of the Apis mellifera bees, Mottana C. Devaiah, one of the directors of the cooperative society, said.

The State Government should encourage apiculture by offering financial support, he said. Bhagamandala was the only place in the State to have an apiculture training centre. It also had 12 "madhuvans," Mr. Devaiah said. A memorandum had been submitted to the State Government and the Kodagu Zilla Panchayat to encourage beekeepers, he added.

Golden jubilee

Mr. Gopala said the cooperative society proposed to celebrate its golden jubilee in November. A souvenir would be brought out to mark the occasion.

Senior cooperators in the district, leading beekeepers, and students who scored good marks in the SSLC and PUC examinations would be honoured on the occasion, he said.

The cooperative society was set up in 1954 with 479 members and it posted a profit of Rs. 413 during its first year, he said and added that 50 years later, its profit was likely to be Rs. 20 lakhs.

The society bought honey from beekeepers, processed it at its facility, and sold it under the brand name, "Agmark," he said.

K.S. Thimmaiah, vice-president of the society, and H.J. Satish Kumar and P.A. Lokanath, directors, were present.