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Priority for apiculture: Collector
District Collector PS Pradyumna has expressed happiness over for obtaining a contract from the TTD to supply 1,500 kilos of honey.
Tirupati: District Collector PS Pradyumna has expressed happiness over for obtaining a contract from the TTD to supply 1,500 kilos of honey. He flagged off a van carrying honey tins with Agmark certification to the TTD here on Thursday.
Speaking on the occasion, the Collector said that the DWCRA members have actively engaged in apiculture (beekeeping) with the assistance of the DRDA, ATMA (Agriculture Technology Management Agency) and Horticulture department.
The Collector claimed Chittoor district has secured first place in the country for honey production. To promote honey beekeeping to enable the farmers get an additional income with the sale of honey, Mutually Aided Cooperative (MAC) society was set up in August 15 last year and so far 1,620 farmers have been trained in various forms of beekeeping, queen been and honey farming, Pradyumna said.
As many as 1,620 farmers in the mandals where horticulture and floriculture crops are more in the district were selected and trained in honey farming, beekeeping and queen bee rearing while 9,720 boxes were distributed free of cost to farmers to encourage them take up honey farming to improve their income, he said, while explaining the measures being taken up by the district administration to promote honey farming for the benefit of the farmers.
Stating that efforts are on to get orders for supply of honey to various temple managements in the State, he mentioned and said that so far honeybee farmers of the MAC society had supplied six tonnes of honey in two spells each three tonnes to TTD.
The TTD procuring the pure honey for using it in the special ritual Abhishekam (celestial bath) performed to Lord Venkateswara every week on Friday. Apart from the local market, Collector said that the honey produced by the district farmers also marketed in various cities including Hyderabad and Vijayawada and also in other States like Kerala.
In the local market, each kg of honey is fetching Rs 350 to 450 to the society, he said informing that efforts are on to expand the market. Pradyumna said that the district administration is also promoting the members of the Tribal community to engage in honey procurement from forests and also from the honey combs in the plain area trees.
Apiculture has become the lucrative activity for small and marginal farmers in the district, he said, adding 3.5 tonnes of honey was produced in Chittoor. Pradyumna further said that they have plans to sell honey under the 'Pure Chittoor Honey' brand. He wished that the TTD would come forward to purchase 'Pure Chittoor Honey' for all its requirements apart from Srivari Abhishekam. Officials of the Honey Producers Society were present.