The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) jointly with Field Station Pulwama of CSIR Indian Institute of Indian Medicine, J&K today organised an event wherein 1200 honey bee boxes, bee colonies and equipment were distributed to 120 farmers from districts Ramban, Banihal, Shopian, Pulwama and Budgam of Jammu and Kashmir UT at Field Station Pulwama.
Manoj Kumar, Chairman KVIC was chief guest at the event. Others present at the programme were J.K. Gupta, Deputy CEO North Zone, KVIC, Dr Shahid Rasool, Nodal Scientist CSIR Floriculture Mission and Scientist Incharge, Field Station Pulwama, S. P. Khandelwal, State Director KVIC, J&K, Ritesh Shrivastava, Deputy Director, KVIC, New Delhi, Anil Kumar Sharma, Principal, PMTC, KVIC, Pampore, officers of KVIC, PMTC, CSIR-IIIM and eminent citizens of the valley.
In his presidential address at the event, Chairman KVIC stated that beekeeping as an enterprise can be a significant step for boosting the income and livelihood opportunities for famers including landless farmers.
Considering the huge area under horticultural crops like apple and other fruit crops in the UT, keeping bee hives in the crop fields can increase pollination efficiency and improve the crop yield and quality.
In addition to the quality honey, beekeeping can also produce other valuable substances such as beeswax, bee propolis, and bee venom. To further encourage the beneficiaries, Chairman KVIC motivated them to run their beekeeping activities successfully and take advantage of the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Program (PMEGP) scheme to increase their business.
Speaking about the opportunities through PMEGP scheme in providing employment opportunities to unemployed youth in rural and urban areas, he informed that entrepreneurs can set up a unit up to Rs 50 lakh in the manufacturing sector and up to Rs 20 lakh in the service sector.
The government provides 15% to 25% of the entire project cost as a grant to beneficiaries in urban areas and 25% to 35% in rural areas. Free entrepreneurship development training is also provided to beneficiaries after loan approval to make them successful entrepreneurs.
Appreciating the efforts of CSIR IIIM in empowering farmers and rural prosperity, he emphasized for its stronger coherence and collaboration in implementation of various intiatives of KVIC.
In conformity with the clarian call of Prime Minister for self reliant India, he mentioned that the Prime Minister has globalized Khadi. The abundant opportunities in Jammu and Kashmir can make it an epicentre for Prime Minister’s vision of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat.
Earlier, Dr Shahid Rasool in his welcome address informed the chief guest and others about the importance of the event and the various initiatives and mission programmes being implemented in the region by CSIR IIIM for benefit of farmers, society and industry.
Highlighting the importance of honey bee rearing in enhancing the income of farmers through quality honey production and ecological services provided by honey bees for achieving sustainable and quality crop yileds, he informed that CSIR under its mission on Floriculture is providing handholding to the farmer clusters through capacity building and honey production through integration of existing orchards and nectar bearing crops with apiculture.
Complimenting State office KVIC, Jammu and PMTC, KVIC, Pampore, he apprised the chief guest that the farmer beneficiaries registered under CSIR Floriculture Mission have been provided trainings and the physical infrastructure with their active support and coordination.
Mentioning about Purple revolution through cultivation of Lavender by the farmers of J&K, he informed that the educated youth of the region have exhibited greater inclination for agritech startups and are significantly contributing towards economic growth and prosperity of the country.
Speaking at the event, S. P. Khandelwal informed about various schemes being implemented in J&K and exhorted the participants to benefit from such schemes.
State Office, KVIC Jammu and PMTC Pampore has been untiringly working towards the successful implementation of the KVIC schemes for providing necessary financial assistance and incubation to the unemployed artisans of J&K, he informed.
The Chief Guest later distributed certificates, bee boxes and other equipments to the trained beneficiaries under the initiative.