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Boost to honeybee farming

SWEET GIFT: Odisha Khadi and Village Industries Board chairman Tejeswar Parida (extreme left) and MSME minister Prafulla Samal hands over a honey bee box to an entrepreneur during World Honeybee Day in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar: Honey parlours selling organic products made from organic honey are set to be opened across the state.

The Odisha Khadi and Village Industries Board will start the parlours to boost honey production and encourage honeybee farmers. The board, in association with the horticulture department, has made an action plan to create 100 honeybee farmers in each block of every district. Focus will be on roping in women entrepreneurs in the process.

"There would be a fixed maximum selling price for the products for standardisation of the market," Odisha Khadi and Village Industries Board chairman Tejeswar Parida said on Sunday.

"A number of gift boxes will also be available at the stores apart from indigenous products made from honey," he said.

Parida said beekeeping would not only boost production but also generate income for beekeepers.

"Beekeeping requires less time, money and infrastructure investment and it has positive ecological consequences," he said.

A honey refinery with advanced equipment will start operating on the Khadi Board premises at Gandamunda in Bhubaneswar in next three months. The plant is being built at a cost of Rs 45 lakh.

A proposal has been sent to the government to name the honey-farming scheme after former Odisha chief minister Biju Patnaik.

"The government has wide range of planning to encourage the farmers for the honey bee farming," he said.

"A group of 20 members is providing training to people in various districts for seven days apart from providing each farmer five honey boxes, one smoke device and one honey release device at 50 per cent subsidy."

A total of 1,200 beneficiaries from nine districts have been provided training in the past two years.

Reports said Odisha Khadi and Village Industries Board has earned around Rs 40 lakh by selling honey directly collected from the farmers within three years.

The move will provide a suitable market to the honeybee farmers and make pure honey available in the market for consumers, said board Parida here on Sunday.

The honeybee farming is carried out extensively in the districts of Gajapati, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Rayagada and Nuapada.

MSME Minister Prafulla Samal said one lakh farmers would be enlisted from across the state to be promoted as bee farmers with financial and technical support from banks and the Odisha Khadi and Village Industries Board.

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