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Apiculture gaining popularity

Apiculture gaining popularity
Highlights

Going with its out of box ideas to increase the income levels of farmers, the district administration has focused its attention now on apiculture and...

  • ‘Pure Chittoor Honey’ with ‘Agmark’ certification to hit markets soon
  • DRDA sets a target to produce 1 lakh kilos per month
  • CM Naidu lauds the efforts of District Collector

Tirupati: Going with its out of box ideas to increase the income levels of farmers, the district administration has focused its attention now on apiculture and planning to take it on a large scale.

Apiculture was relatively a new activity for the farmers in the district till a few months back which has been changed with Collector PS Pradyumna’s initiative of taking it seriously forward and to keep the district number one in producing honey in the country.

The efforts were giving fruitful results and in the first 4-5 months itself, the farmers could have produced 3,000 kg of honey. During the recent Collectors’ meeting, the Chief Minister has lauded Pradyumna’s efforts in this aspect.

The Collector aims at producing one lakh kilos of honey per month and for this he has been closely monitoring the plans.

DRDA was entrusted with the task of motivating the DWCRA women in rural areas towards apiculture with the help of Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) and Horticulture Department.

The officials have given beekeeping boxes to 500 women initially after training them.

Now, they are successfully producing honey. The DRDA officials are providing training in apiculture to another batch of women and give them 500 more honeybee boxes to them. They will be given to women near forest areas where flora can be found, said the Deputy Director of Horticulture T Saraswathi.

Speaking to The Hans India, she said that, it will provide an additional income to women groups as it requires no huge investment except the cost of boxes. These honeybee boxes cost Rs 5,000 each and DRDA will provide subsidy of 40 per cent to DWCRA women.

Government helps them in getting the balance amount also as interest free loan from banks. According to an estimate, about 7,000 were engaged in apiculture in the country whereas in Chittoor district already 2,000 people have come forward showing interest in apiculture.

If anyone interested in apiculture and prefers to do it individually, they will also get subsidy after they invested the amount initially. “Anyone wants to take it up as a small-scale industry they can come with a Detailed Project Report (DPR) and the government will extend its support even for maintaining 100 boxes.

We have been aiming at motivating 5,000 families to take up apiculture by providing them 30,000 boxes during this fiscal and in the next year it can be taken to further levels,” she maintained.

ATMA has been imparting training to the beekeepers through experts before giving the boxes and certificates will also be issued to them.

They can act as master trainers subsequently, she added. Collector Pradyumna has revealed that after initial production of honey they have slowed down the process to look after the marketing aspect.

“We have started the process of getting ‘Agmark’ certificate for the honey being produced in the district which was named as ‘Pure Chittoor Honey’.

Once, we get this certificate we go for marketing the honey and we have approached TTD to buy honey from us for Srivari Abhishekam instead of going somewhere else.

We have already sent samples to them,” revealed the Collector. A Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) will also be formed to take up the marketing aspect.

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