With the timely efforts of District Administration Kupwara, a total of eight projects under NBHM (National Beekeeping and Honey Mision) have got approval for development of the Apiculture sector in the district, bringing good news for farmers and beekeepers of the district.
Union Territory Level Screening Committee of National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM) has given approval to 4 projects of frontier district Kupwara in the private sector with project cost of Rs.121.00 lacs for development of Apiculture sector in Kupwara district during the CFY 2023-24.
The approved projects include one project in Lolab, two at Langate, and one at Bramri Kupwara.Two more private sector projects including a Honey packaging unit at Machil with project cost of 38 lacs and Custom Hiring Apiculture Centre at Gulgam with project cost of 75 lacs have already been approved.
Besides, establishment of centre for excellence (Apiculture) in Ganapora Langate Handwara and District level Seminars cum Awareness programs on Beekeeping in Kupwara have been approved for development of Apiculture Sector under National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM).
With the approval of these 8 projects in Kupwara district, Honey processing units on modern lines will be established with bottling, packaging and value addition facilities like "Walnut-Honey Blend".Approved projects will help farmers to give a boost to the Apiculture Sector and produce pure and organic honey and other related products on modern lines in the district and its export to other states and countries which will generate employment and profit.
More than 1050 Quintals of pure organic honey is annually produced in Kupwara district with turn- turnover of Rs. 12 crores. More than 550 farmers are today engaged in honey production and processing in Kupwara district.
There are at present 8500 Bee colonies (Apis Mellifera) and 3500 wall-colonies (Apis cerana indica) in the private sector in Kupwara district.Intending budding beekeepers are helped by the department through different interventions and provided bee colonies at subsidized rates to generate employment and boost the economic sector in the district.
Besides, the Agriculture department has established a DCTC (Demonstration Cum training centre) at Gulgam village of Kupwara with 200 bee colonies for demonstration and training purposes for beekeepers where a full fledged honey processing and bottling plant is functional with a bottling capacity of 2 quintals per day.
Raw honey of beekeepers of Kupwara district is processed and packaged with the meager nominal charge.GI Tagging of products labeled as ‘Kupwara Organic Honey’ is also in pipeline that shall substantially boost market prices besides providing access to international and national markets for the local beekeepers.
Farmers with the active hand-hold of the Agriculture department are now promoting honey bees as agents of pollination which will not only result in increasing crop productivity, but will also increase honey production. The idea is also to generate employment through this sector by value addition,” said Gurdeep Singh Chief Agriculture Officer Kupwara.