State govt asks agriculture and horticulture department to encourage farmers to adopt bee keeping | punjab | Hindustan Times
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State govt asks agriculture and horticulture department to encourage farmers to adopt bee keeping

The Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), Ludhiana, initiated regular training courses on diversification in bee keeping ten years ago across the state but most farmers did not show interest in the activity.

punjab Updated: Oct 01, 2014 22:41 IST
Surinder Maan

The Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), Ludhiana, initiated regular training courses on diversification in bee keeping ten years ago across the state but most farmers did not show interest in the activity.

Now, the agriculture department has decided to make farmers aware of bee keeping as allied farming to improve their economic status and divert to diversified farming instead of traditional crops.

The Punjab government has also asked district horticulture officials across the state to educate farmers about new marketing techniques to sell honey.

As per information, the state agriculture department is providing a huge sum in the form of subsidies to farmers to encourage bee keeping in the state.

Resham Singh Sekhon, assistant director of horticulture said farmers could avail subsidy from the government after specialised training by the Krishi Vigyan Kendras across the state.

According to the agriculture department, Punjab was a pioneer in bee keeping with about 30,000 bee keepers owning more than 0.4 million honey bee colonies and producing 14,000 tons of honey, which constitutes 37 % of apiary honey production of the country.

Motivating progressive farmer Gurbax Singh Sodhi at Smalsar village under Baghapurana sub division on Wednesday, state award-winner agriculture development officer (ADO) Jaswinder Singh Brar said bees were excellent agents of crop pollination, thus increasing the yield of crops like sunflower, fruits plants and hybrid seed production of other crops.

"Proper and effective management of honey bee colonies influences their performance, development and productivity. Farmers should inspect at least once in a week during the honey-flow season, preferably during the morning hours, and observe the colonies regularly for the presence of a healthy queen, brood development, storage of honey and pollen, presence of queen cells, bee strength and growth of drones. Look for infestation by wax moth, predatory wasp, ants, and predatory birds," said Brar.

Agriculture experts say the growing market for honey and its products has resulted in bee keeping emerging as a viable enterprise. "Honey and other products are economically important. Bee keeping requires less time, money and infrastructure investment and has positive ecological consequences," said the ADO.

Moga deputy commissioner Parminder Singh Gill said, "40% subsidy is being disbursed to the farmers under the horticulture mission. Subsidy of Rs 4.8 lakh during the year 2012-13 for 325 boxes and Rs 27 lakh during the year 2013-14 for 1,800 boxes has been distributed to the farmers. During the current year, subsidy of Rs 48 lakh has been disbursed for 3,000 boxes to farmers keeping bees."