National Beekeeping and Honey Mission is pivotal in increasing the income of small farmers, says Shri Narendra Singh Tomar
Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar launched ‘Amul Honey- a product of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (GCMMF)’ under active cooperation with ‘National Bee Board (NBB)’ today virtually in the presence of Union Minister for Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairying Shri Parshottam Rupala. Addressing the launching event, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar emphasized the importance of the National Beekeeping and Honey Mission in increasing the income of small farmers, which is being implemented in the country for doubling the income of farmers/beekeepers through beekeeping with the budgetary allocation of Rs. 500 crores.
Shri Narendra Singh Tomar said that there are 86% small farmers in the country. In order to increase the income of these small farmers, it is necessary to connect them with other dimensions of agriculture like beekeeping. The Minister said that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had expressed his desire for a sweet revolution on the soil of Gujarat and today, by launching Amul Honey, India has started the journey towards fulfilling the dream of the Prime Minister.
Speaking on the occasion, he expressed that the quality of honey is a major concern in the country for which 5 large-scale Regional Honey Testing Labs and 100 Mini Honey Testing Labs are being set up all over the country. “It should be our constant effort that the quality of our honey products should also meet the global standards as there are lots of export opportunities in this sector”, he added. The Minister assured the beekeepers/ farmers of the country that the Government of India will provide all necessary support for the promotion & development of beekeeping in the country.
Appreciating efforts made by Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), Shri Tomar said Amul has not only set up a milestone in the direction of the White Revolution but it also expanded in the milk processing sector and established itself as a global brand. Besides this, Amul also provides employment opportunities to marginal farmers and significantly contributes to the overall progress of the country in the dairy sector. The Minister also assured GMMF that the Agriculture Ministry will look into the proposal for establishing a testing lab in Gujarat.
Shri Parshottam Rupala congratulated GCMMF on launching its Honey product. He also expressed happiness that Amul Honey is being launched after testing it as per the global standard. He said promoting beekeeping and selling honey through cooperatives will give a boost to the rural economy. He also encouraged farmers/beekeepers that along with honey, they can also produce additional by-products of beekeeping, viz.; beeswax, pollen, royal jelly, as these products have high demand and better prices in Indian and international markets.
Shri Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary (A&FW) said that after implementation of the National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM), the whole scenario of beekeeping in the country has changed & thrust is being given on assuring the quality of honey, aggregation of beekeepers, providing infrastructural facilities including honey testing labs, Madhukranti portal to stop adulteration in honey production.
Dr. R. S. Sodhi, Managing Director, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. mentioned that Dairy Cooperatives and their infrastructural facilities can be simultaneously used for Honey Production through their established set up of 84 Dairy Plants over all the country.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Kailash Choudhary, Sushri Shobha Karandlaje, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry Shri Atul Chaturvedi along with senior officials of the MoAF and MoAHFD were present at the occasion. Shri Shamalbhai Patel, Chairman, GCMMF, Shri Valamjibhai Humbal, Vice Chairman, GCMMF, Shri Shankar Chaudhary, Chairman, Banas Dairy joined virtually from Gujarat.