300 tribal youths trained in eco-friendly honey collection – Maharashtra

Tribals explore commercial viability of beekeeping

PUNE: The tribal communities of the Bhamragarh forest division in Gadchiroli district have set an example by exploring the potential of beekeeping commercially. The collection of honey is carried out in an eco-friendly manner on sustainable basis by the local youth. The honey is then processed and packaged and the product registered under AGMARK is marketed in several districts of Maharashtra.

Decline of honey bees has become a global phenomenon. It is a cause for concern as honey bees are the main pollinators of food crops. In Etapalli tehsil, with the help of the forest department, local youths underwent training and now they do not fell trees for harvesting or kill the bees or larvae. So far, out of 16,885 kg of honey collected, 10,630 kg of it has been sold. The villagers have placed honey bee boxes in their agricultural field to increase crop productivity.

Etapalli tehsil is gifted with nature’s bounty and inspection by the forest department revealed vast potential for naturally available honey. But it showed that local tribes who collected honey for selling in the market were exploited. The harvesting of honey was destructive and involved felling of trees. The trees were felled down to extract small amount of honey from beehives located inside the tree trunk.

Following this, the department established the Jivangatta forest protection committee for the development of village through conservation of forest. Under this committee, a project for honey collection and a processing centre was established. The funds were received from centrally sponsored forest development agency scheme.

Nitin Kakodkar, chief conservator of forest (territorial), Pune, said around 300 tribal youths have been trained in honey collection by the Centre of Science for Villagers, Dattapur in Wardha. They are given free kit and gear for safe collection of honey. The tribals are paid Rs 80 per kg of honey collected. Earlier to this project, the tribals would get around Rs 40 per kg of honey. […]

Chandrasekhar Sontakke from the Centre of Science for Villagers, who trains the youths on bee collection and beekeeping, told TOI: “We train the collectors to spray water on the beehive which does not kill the bees. It just takes five minutes to extract the honey while the bees are wet. Prior to the training, the collectors would crudely break into beehives and use smoke to suppress the bees. The process would kill bees, eggs and larvae. In case of beehives located inside the trunk of trees, ladders are used to extract the honey.” […]

Source: Tribals explore commercial viability of beekeeping – The Times of India
Address : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/Tribals-explore-commercial-viability-of-beekeeping/articleshow/11855327.cms?prtpage=1
Date Visited: Sun Feb 26 2012 10:38:39 GMT+0100 (CET)

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Adverse inclusion | Casteism | Rural poverty


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Demographic Status of Scheduled Tribe Population of India (Census figures 2011)

Denotified Tribes, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes – Report and Recommendations (Technical Advisory Group)

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