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What is Honey Mission and its purpose?

Local employment for migrant workers has been created by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) through its flagship Honey Mission programme.

Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) through its flagship Honey Mission programme has taken an enormous leap towards ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ by generating local employment for migrant workers.

Minister of State for MSME, Pratap Chandra Sarangi distributed 700 bee boxes to 70 migrant workers of Saharanpur and Bulandshahr districts of Uttar Pradesh on 25 August, 2020. Due to COVID-19, they had returned to their hometown from Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat.

Not only this KVIC has provided training on bee-keeping and also gave necessary tool kit and bee boxes so that they can carry out their bee-keeping activities. Mr. Sarangi also stated that it will contribute to increasing the production of honey which is the main aim of the Honey Mission. It will also generate employment for the migrant workers at their doorsteps and make them self-reliant.

According to the Ministry, KVIC has distributed 1,35,000 bee boxes so far in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Tripura. This has benefitted around 13,500 people across the country.

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About Honey Mission
It was launched in 2017 by KVIC with the purpose of creating employment for the Adivasis, farmers, unemployed youth, and women by roping them in bee-keeping and it will also increase India’s Honey production.

Under the rural development programme in India, beekeeping is an important, sustainable, integral Forest, social forest and agricultural supporting activity. It provides nutritional, economic, and ecological balance while providing employment and income. Beekeeping as the very low investment and skills Industry has the potential to offers direct employment to lakhs of people especially hill dwellers, tribal and unemployed youth and farmers.

Beekeeping has been carried out across several generations in India. It plays a crucial role in the livelihoods of the rural communities in four major dimensions namely;
– It helps in generating an income.
– It provides food and medicine.
– It supports agricultural activities through cross-pollination and increase in yield of crops.
– It contributes immensely to forest conservation.
– It provides supplementary income to farmers or Tribals etc.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi viewed these opportunities and advised the authorities to explore the possibilities to create employment in Tribal regions and Left-Wing Effected (LWE) areas, backward districts of the country and announced to take up mass honey production as Sweet Kranti (Sweet Revolution) in the lines of “Shwate Kranti” (White Revolution) in Mission mode.

How the mission will help in generating employment?
According to V.K Saxena, the Chairman of KVIC, beekeeping will not only increase India’s honey production but it will also increase the income of the beekeepers. He also told that products like pollen, bee wax, royal jelly, propolis, and bee venom are also marketable products and so it will also be a profitable proposition for the locals. In Panjokera, KVICs training centre, the bee boxes were distributed.

What does KVIC provide beekeepers under Honey Mission?

– For the examination of honeybee colonies, practical training is provided.
– Acquaintance with apicultural equipments.
– Extraction of Honey and purification of wax.
– Methods to identify and manage bee enemies and diseases.
– Management of bee colonies in seasons like spring, summer, monsoon, autumn and winter seasons.

Besides providing them certificates of trained bee-keepers, the KVIC experts also delved upon honey bee species, colony organisation, division of labour and life cycle of honey bees, management of honey bee colonies during different seasons.

For honey production, Western Uttar Pradesh has been chosen as one of the most favourable markets because the entire region has an abundance of flora that also includes a variety of crops. Among the world’s top five honey producers India is one among them. As compared to 2005-06 honey production has risen by 242% and exports shot by 265%.

About Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC)
The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament (No. 61 of 1956). It took over the work of former All India Khadi and Village Industries Board in April 1957.
– Under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), it is an apex organisation.
– At the national level, it is a nodal implementation agency of Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP).

At last, KVIC also set a world record on World Honey-Bee Day on 21 May, 2018 by distributing maximum number of bee-boxes in a single day. KVIC Chairman Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena distributed 1,000 bee-boxes among 100 people belonging to the Mishing Assamese tribe within the Kaziranga forest, thereby setting a new world record.

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