Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to develop the beekeeping industry for the overall growth of the rural economy, the hill state of Meghalaya is focusing on the preservation, propagation and scientific farming of the indigenous bee of the State.
Around 6000 beekeepers in Meghalaya and more than 7000 people have been trained in beekeeping by the Meghalaya Institute of Entrepreneurship(MIE).
Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma who recently laid the foundation for the first-of-its-kind Integrated Beekeeping Development Centre (IBDC) at Sambrak Seed Farm, in North Garo Hills(NGH) and informed that the state has been rated as one of the best regions for beekeeping considering the availability in terms of bee pasturage.
“The State has immense beekeeping potential, however, due to lack of knowledge and information about the scope, the farmers have not been able to reap the optimum benefits.” CM Sangma said.
The project is estimated to cost Rs10 Crore and is funded by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
It may be mentioned that the Government of India is promoting beekeeping industry through a Centrally Sponsored Scheme –Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) scheme, under a component “Pollination Support through Beekeeping” and has been designated National Bee Board (NBB), as Nodal Agency for promoting Scientific Beekeeping under NHM/MIDH.
The state has envisaged tapping the potential of about 5 lakh honey bee colonies against the existing bee colonies which are calculated at 16,728 numbers i.e only 3% of the estimated potential. The setting up of the IBDC will enable the State to further boost the honey bee industry.
The IBDC will help in the overall sustainable development of scientific and robust beekeeping in the State. IBDC’s shall also function as information and demonstration units. The centre will cover an area of at least 20-25 acres of land.
Photo Credit: HoneyColony