To increase income of small farmers, it is necessary to connect them with other dimensions of agriculture like beekeeping, said the Agriculture Minister.
From utterly butterly, the saga now moves to sweetly, honnily delicious. Perhaps! Because Amul Honey is here now.
Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday, September 28, launched Amul Honey – a product of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (GCMMF) under active cooperation with National Bee Board (NBB).
Addressing the virtual event, the agriculture minister emphasised the importance of National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM) in increasing income of small farmers. This, he added, is being implemented in the country for doubling income of farmers and beekeepers through beekeeping with the budgetary allocation of Rs. 500 crores.
S. Sodhi, Managing Director, GCMMF, mentioned that dairy cooperatives and their infrastructural facilities can be simultaneously used for honey production through their established set up of 84 dairy plants over all the country.
Tomar added that there are 86% small farmers in the country. In order to increase the income of these small farmers, it is necessary to connect them with other dimensions of agriculture like beekeeping.
The minister also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed his desire for a sweet revolution on the soil of Gujarat and today, by launching Amul Honey, India has started the journey towards fulfilling his dream.
"It should be our constant effort that the quality of our honey products should also meet the global standards as there are lots of export opportunities in this sector," the agriculture minister added.
He expressed that quality of honey is a major concern in the country for which five large scale regional Honey Testing Labs and 100 Mini Honey Testing Labs are being set up all over the country.
The minister assured beekeepers and farmers of the country that the government will provide all necessary support for promotion and development of beekeeping in the country.
Appreciating efforts made by GCMMF, Tomar said that Amul has not only set up a milestone in the direction of the White Revolution but it also expanded in the milk processing sector and established itself as a global brand.
Beside this, Amul also provides employment opportunities to marginal farmers and significantly contributes to overall progress of the country in dairy sector. The minister also assured GCMMF that the Agriculture Ministry will look into the proposal for establishing a testing lab in Gujarat.
Also present in the launch was Union Minister for Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairying Parshottam Rupala. He congratulated GCMMF on launching its honey product.
He also expressed happiness that Amul Honey is being launched after testing it as per the global standard. He said promoting beekeeping and selling honey through cooperatives will give a boost to the rural economy. He also encouraged farmers and beekeepers that along with honey, they can also produce additional by products of beekeeping like bee wax, pollen, royal jelly, as these products have high demand and better prices in Indian and international market.
According to Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary (A&FW) after implementation of NBHM, the whole scenario of beekeeping in the country has changed and thrust is being given on assuring quality of honey, aggregation of beekeepers, providing infrastructural facilities including honey testing labs, Madhukranti portal to stop adulteration in honey production.
Union Ministers of State for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Kailash Choudhary and Shobha Karandlaje, with Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry Atul Chaturvedi along with senior officials of the MoAF and MoAHFD were present at the occasion.
Shamalbhai Patel, Chairman, GCMMF, Valamjibhai Humbal, Vice Chairman, GCMMF, Shankar Chaudhary, Chairman, Banas Dairy also joined virtually from Gujarat.