Focusing on giving a further boost to the Apiculture Mission in Meghalaya, the Meghalaya Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh, on December 21, 2021, distributed beehives to master beekeepers.
Lyngdoh also released the Mission Document of Apiculture Mission 2.0 in a function held at the Conference Hall, Directorate of Agriculture, Shillong.
Altogether 35 master beekeepers from Ri Bhoi District, West Jaintia Hills District, East Jaintia Hills District, East Khasi Hills District, East-West Khasi Hills District and South West Khasi Hills District received beehives on the day.
The programme was organised by the Directorate of Horticulture, Government of Meghalaya, as part of the 50th Anniversary of Statehood commemoration.
Speaking on occasion, Lyngdoh stressed the importance of scientific bee rearing for larger honey production.
"Under Apiculture Mission 2.0, the government is committed to working closely with the farmers and getting their feedback. Any intervention made will yield positive results," he said.
Urging beekeepers to come forward and approach the officers at the district level, he pointed out the importance of clarifying doubts for their benefit.
Lamenting the procurement of local honey at low cost by companies from outside the state, which is then repackaged, branded and resold at a much higher cost, Lyngdoh stressed the need for proper branding and packing.
Drawing focus on the dwindling number of bees, particularly in urban areas and in places where chemical fertilizers are used, he stressed the importance of preserving the environment for the benefit and survival of all.
He also urged all line departments to work together for the benefit of the state's farmers.
"Meghalaya boasts of a variety of honey and has a huge potential to produce quality honey. However, it is unfortunate that the state is still unable to fully leverage on this resource," said Vijay Kumar, Commissioner and Secretary of state Department of Agriculture and Farmers'Farmers' Welfare.
While several local entrepreneurs have been able to add value to honey through proper branding, he lamented the inability to create a value chain at the farmers level wherein honey is yet to be produced at a larger scale and processed properly, packaged and sold in a way that gets the best price for farmers.
Informing that the goal of Apiculture Mission 2.0 is to work and support existing clusters while at the same time create new clusters and identify master beekeepers, he said that in the first phase of the Mission master beekeepers will be provided with free boxes and beehives, following which clusters will be trained and subsequently bee boxes will be provided to farmers at 50% subsidy and 50% interest free bank loan.
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