Image for representation.(Bharat Bhushan/HT)
Image for representation.(Bharat Bhushan/HT)

Uttarakhand to give 80% subsidy for beekeeping, honey production to promote self-employment

The state government, during its last cabinet meeting earlier this month, had announced to set up ‘madhugram’ in every district to promote apiculture in state.
By Suparna Roy | Hindustan Times, Dehradun
UPDATED ON DEC 03, 2020 05:57 PM IST

Intending to promote self-employment in the hilly regions of the state, Uttarakhand has started an initiative to give 80 per cent subsidy for beekeeping and honey rearing in boxes to locals.

The state government, during its last cabinet meeting earlier this month, had announced to set up ‘madhugram’ in every district to promote apiculture in state. Officials say that Uttarakhand honey has demand in both national and international market as it is organic, therefore increasing productivity will help locals earn a living.

HC Tiwari, joint-director for horticulture in Kumaon region in the state, who also looks after the beekeeping project, said that there are approximately 300 nyay panchayats in the state where ‘madhugram’ or honey clusters are being set up by the department.

“Production of honey is a process which can give earnings to people throughout the year except during the monsoon. As Uttarakhand’s honey is famous for its organic properties, it is a good source of income and we are trying to promote the same among locals across the state,” said Tiwari.

As part of this initiative, the horticulture department has asked district-level officials to identify areas where beekeeping can be done successfully, like Terai regions, agricultural lands in the hilly districts. After the identification of locations, locals will be trained in beekeeping (as the process involves dealing with a live insect), and then they will be given boxes used as beehives.

Also read: ‘We brought our own food’ - Farmer leaders at Vigyan Bhawan meet

One box costs Rs 4000 of which Rs 3200 will be paid by the department and Rs 800 will be borne by the beekeeper.

The official further said that the locals can earn an amount between Rs 70/kg to around Rs 300-400/kg for honey, depending on the demand and the type of honey being produced.

“The type of honey that will get produced after beekeeping depends on the flowers that the bees suck nectar from. During these winter months, mostly mustard honey is produced as that is the crop the bees feed on. In the months of March-April, it is flower-based honey, which has a higher price, thus the earnings vary accordingly,” added Tiwari.

He further said that during the months of lockdown, beekeepers earned around Rs 300/kg as the demand for honey increased, “because people were more focused on building immunity to fight Covid-19 and preferred organic honey”.

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