As a part of their efforts to augment dairy farmers’ income through allied activities, National Dairy Development Board’s (NDDB) in association with National Bee Board (NBB), sponsored a scientific bee-keeping training program under Mini Mission-I of National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM). West Assam Milk Union Limited (WAMUL), popularly known as Purabi Dairy, has been empanelled by NDDB as the Cluster Based Business Organisation for formation of Honey FPO (Farmer Producer Organisation) and development of Honey cluster under FPO scheme of GoI.
This project is envisaged to create Beekeepers FPOs/Honey cluster in WAMUL’s operational areas of Hajo under Kamrup(R) district, thus creating a new source of livelihood for the milk producers along with the existing dairy value chain. The weeklong training program in scientific beekeeping, under Mini Mission-I of NBHM, was organized between February 21-27, 2022, at the Regional Institute of Livestock Entrepreneurship Management (RILEM). Shri N.N. Mahanta (Director, RILEM) expressed his happiness to be associated with and provide support for such type of training programs which help increase opportunities for the farmers of Assam.
The training program had 25 participants and was delivered by ‘Tanishk Graamin Seva Sansthan’ through two trainers namely Sanjeev Tomar and Vishnu Jangle. They were joined by Pranesh Roy, who is providing training on beekeeping in different districts of Assam.
Chief Minister of Assam Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma had earlier highlighted that to increase farmers’ income, WAMUL should integrate allied activities like biogas, bio manure, beekeeping etc. This training program is a step forward in that direction. The training program will also lead to additional income for the local dairy farmers which is a step towards the “Doubling Farmers’ Income” aim envisioned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Milk unions in other parts of India are effectively using their infrastructure for procurement and marketing of honey and are providing quality honey to its customers. NDDB has been designated as the implementing agency under NBHM, and WAMUL is committed to make this program an immense success in Assam. It will also provide marketing support for the farmers’ produce through its well-established network of milk and milk products in the state.
NDDB has been managing West Assam Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union Ltd. since 2008 and at present WAMUL stands as an exemplary model of a successful dairy cooperative. WAMUL as a cooperative organisation has been able to turnaround its operations under the management of NDDB.
The National Beekeeping and Honey Mission was announced by the Union Government as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package in 2020. The scheme is aimed at the overall development and promotion of scientific beekeeping in India to achieve the objectives of the Sweet Revolution. Development of beekeeping will also generate employment in rural India and has potential of augmenting income of farmers. It may be mentioned that honeybees are vital in sustaining plant biodiversity, and beekeeping acts as a catalyst in increasing yield of major agricultural and horticultural crops through cross pollination.