‘350 tonnes of honey produced during current year’
SRINAGAR: To acquaint the farmers with modern techniques of bee-keeping and honey production, a day-long awareness-cum-training camp was held at Lalmandi here on Thursday.
The camp was organised by Assistant Entomologist Kashmir in collaboration with Potato Development Officer Kashmir. Director Agriculture Kashmir, Syed Altaf Aijaz Andrabi, inaugurated the said camp. About 200 bee keepers of the Valley attended this camp, an official handout read.
On this occasion, director agriculture highlighted the economic importance of bee keeping. He said that bee keeping is a profitable agro-based industry and the department was taking various initiatives for increasing the production and marketing of honey.
Andrabi assured the bee-keepers and entrepreneurs of all sorts of support from the department to boost the industry and make it profitable. He said that Kashmir honey is of very high quality, which is produced without the use of antibiotics and pesticides. He stressed the bee-keepers for increasing its marketing value by branding as Kashmiri honey, packing and labelling in an attractive way, it read.
He also highlighted the importance of pollination made through the bees in agriculture and fruit crops. He also instructed for increasing the number of bee colonies in the orchards on hire-basis which is beneficial for higher fruit production and would be a source of income for the bee-keepers.
The director said that presently there are 63,000 bee colonies in the Valley with a production of 350 tonnes during the current year.
He asked the bee-keepers for testing their honey in the quality control lab at Lalmandi, and to get a certificate for increasing their market value.
During the technical session, scientists from SKUAST-K and experts from the department detailed about the modern techniques of honey production and by-products of honey. They also highlighted the importance of honey bees in pollination and increasing the food production and fruit production. The management practices of the bee colonies and disease control measures and marketing of honey and its by-products were discussed in detail.
On the occasion, assistant entomologist said that department was making efforts for boosting apiculture industry by training young entrepreneurs and also by giving modern technical knowhow.
He said that efforts were on for setting up of a high technology honey processing plant and disease control lab in Entomology at Lalmandi, the handout read.