Shabana Pathan of Gujarat is an agri-entrepreneur who has streamlined her business in a short period through the golden harvest of honey. A resident of village Palanpur, Shabana manages the production of 3,300 kg of honey in one season.
In December 2018, Khadi Village Industries Commission KVIC trained Shabana and helped her start her apiary with 10 boxes. She was given boxes under the Honey Mission. Almost a year later, Shabana’s efforts yielded 130 cans containing about 3,300 kilos of three-pound pure honey that shesold at the rate of Rs 130 per kg and made Rs 4.29 lakh.
KVIC Chairman VK Saxena tweeted about it and said, 'Meet Shabana Pathan, who lives in Palanpur, Gujarat. She was given 10B boxes in December 2018 under Honey Mission. She now has 130 beehives and that have yielded a total of 3,300 kg of honey.
The boxes with beehives
Like Shabana apiculture is catching up as a practice of mixed farming and raising the income of farmers.
Rajendra, a farmer from Fatehpuria village in Sirsa (Haryana), has studied up to the eighth standard. It was difficult for him to find a well-paying job. However, today he is a successful honey trader.
"After the eighth grade, if I didn't feel like studying, I started farming," he says. There was not much income from it and he decided to try to do something different. He went to Sirsa Science Center to get training in beekeeping.
He underwent training in rearing bees for three days and carried home three boxes from Ludhiana, Punjab, that cost him Rs. 100. He started his apiary in the year 2000 with just Rs. 100 and today he is earning Rs. 4.5 lakh per annum.
Rajendra says in the first yea,r he made a profit of one lakh; he invested rs 7,500 and saved Rs. 40,000. Rajendra has received many for his venture.
Ranveer Singh Tomar, a resident of Moukhas village (Meerut), used to ve a farmer till 1984. He was disappointed since there was not enough income coming from the land. A friend suggested raising bees. That's what he did, and he didn't have to look back since. He has been a beekeeper for 45 years now. He says, “We had 12 bighas of land, and yet I didn’t get any profit back then. Today, I have two cars, a nice house; not only that I have also bought more agricultural land.”
Ranveer Singh Tomar further says that he started with 10 boxes, 37 years ago. Today he has more than 1,500 boxes in which bees make their hives and honey. He sells 200 to 250 quintals of honey annually.
State and central governments continue to encourage small farmers across the country with training in bee farming. Honey production raises farmers’ incomes substantially and also checks the flight of people to cities in search of jobs.
The government provides loans from Rs. 2 to 5 lakhs for beekeeping and gives all the incentives due to the small-scale industry.
Thus, honey production is not only adding to the farmers’ incomes but also making India’s honey production reach record levels. KVIC provides bee boxes and electric chalks to the farmers and also trains them in beekeeping.