Netravali shows high interest in honey production


The Western Ghats area of Netravali in Sanguem taluka is showing a spurt of interest in bee-keeping and honey production.
Till now, there were just four farmers around the Netravali area producing about 300 litres of honey per year from bee-keeping. But the director of agriculture S Tendulkar told TOI that his department has now received applications from 21 persons including the earlier four bee-keepers demanding 500 bee boxes.
This follows a recent bee-keeping training programme for eight days held at Netravali, where 23 local farmers participated. The training programme was conducted in association with the National Bee Board of India, a central government organization.
Tendulkar said that the experts of the board, who were in Goa for the training programme, opined that Netravali has very good potential for honey production. The experts said that not only can local farmers collect honey in the area but can also collect the pollen for marketing purposes.
The Netravali area now has about 50 bee boxes but the expert opinion and the training programme has injected confidence in farmers from villages like Salgini, Tudov, Verla and Netravali who have now requested for 500 bee boxes. The agriculture department is in the process of acquiring these boxes and will supply them to the farmers. Tendulkar said this is being done in association with the Arya Gramodhyog Saunsthan from Uttar Pradesh.
Though the Netravali farmers now use the Apis cerena species of bees, the experts have advised them to switch over to the Apis mellifera species which give five times more honey. The farmers have also been informed that though the value of honey produced there is limited, the indirect benefit of increase in production in various crops surrounding the honey bee colonies is 20 times more than the direct benefit.
The farmers have also been told that bee-keeping and honey production can also be taken up by farmers living in forest areas who do not have their own land for cultivation. In other words, ownership of land is not a requirement for bee-keeping and honey production, Tendulkar said. [TOI]