Friday, June 14, 2024

NIFTEM and IHA host a training program for the beekeeper community

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To strengthen the Indian beekeeping ecosystem and up-skill the beekeeping community, NIFTEM (National Institute of Food Technology & Entrepreneurship Management) and IHA (India Honey Alliance) jointly organized a training program for beekeepers at Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh on 27th and 28th March 2024. 

Over 100 beekeepers and Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) from Saharanpur and neighboring districts actively participated in the program. They gained valuable insights, technical knowledge, and the best practices required for the effective management of bee colonies.

Experts like Dr Komal Chauhan, Dean Research and Outreach, NIFTEMDr. Satish Kushwaha, Senior Analyst, CFRANIFTEMDr. I.K. KushwahaKrishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Saharanpur and Dr Lakshmi RaoNational Rural Livelihoods Mission  (NRLM) and ex-Addl. Director, Central Bee Research and Training Institute (CBRTI)conducted sessions & imparted training. 

Dignitaries such as Minhaj Alam, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Dr. H.S. Oberoi, Director NIFTEM-K, Dr. R.S. Rajpoot, Deputy Director (PDF),  Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC) also briefed the beekeeping community and joined the event virtually.

Namrata Khanna, Director, IHA, delivered the opening remarks for the event. Throughout the two-day program, various sessions were conducted covering key topics such as Beekeeping: How to keep bees and process, Regulatory requirements for setting up a honey business, Technical Beekeeping – Hygienic Extraction & Equipment Maintenance, and Maintaining Bee Colonies.  

Present virtually at the event, Minhaj Alam, Additional Secretary, MoFPI, said, “There are multiple schemes of MoFPI through which the beekeeping community can benefit. At MoFPI, we sponsor various promotional activities to support and educate the small-scale industries. The  Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) and Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PMFME) schemes are specially intended for medium, small, and micro-scale industries. Further, to boost the income of farmers and provide them with a sustainable livelihood, the training program by NIFTEM & IHA is a great initiative and value addition that will address many ground-level issues faced by beekeepers. More such events will go a long way to educate beekeepers.”

Dr. H.S. Oberoi, Director, NIFTEM, said“At NIFTEM, we want to build the capacity of beekeepers and provide them with the necessary skills and resources to upgrade them. Organizations like CBRTI, Pune, and NIFTEM are working in this direction. To tackle the issue of adulteration, we need pure samples of honey, from sources that have scientific beekeeping practices, so that FSSAI can revise the standards to be more realistic, based on scientific evidence, specific to Indian honey. I also request IHA and the beekeepers to make a geographical database for honey for traceability. This will benefit the honest honey players as well as the beekeepers.” 

Further, Namrata Khanna, Director, IHA, said “The top focus is to create consumer awareness, and thereby increase honey consumption. This will directly benefit the beekeepers if they follow scientific beekeeping methods, to extract honey & other hive products. The training program by IHA is a step forward in promoting beekeeping and creating opportunities for micro-enterprise development. We would like to work closely with the Government & other organizations to create a better ecosystem for honey.” 

Along with beekeepers, many FPOs (Farmer Producer Organisations) like Aryahi Fed Farmers Producer Company Ltd and Divine International Foundation that work for beekeepers including women also attended the training program and gained valuable insights.  

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