Agriculture ministry unveils Nafed’s honey FPOs programme for 5 states

NEW DELHI, Nov 26: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday inaugurated cooperative Nafed’s programme for helping set up farmer producers organisations (FPOs) for beekeepers and honey collectors in five states.
Nafed is one of the four implementing agencies of the government for creation of 10,000 FPOs under a central scheme, which aims to make agriculture self-reliant. The other agencies are Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium, NABARD and National Cooperative Development Corporation.
Under the programme, Nafed will help in setting up FPOs for beekeepers in five states — West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
“Beekeeping in India is highly predominant in the unorganised sector among the rural and tribal population. Despite having a huge potential of honey production in the country, the beekeeping industry is still underdeveloped.
“The adoption level of beekeeping is also quite less due to various constraints,” an official statement quoted Tomar as having said after the virtual inauguration of the programme.
Nafed will address these issues by acting as an intermediary and filling up the gaps between the elements of the beekeeping supply chain and also ensure price remuneration to the beekeeping farmers, he said.
Through these honey FPOs, the Nafed will also work for promotion of beekeeping as an occupation for unemployed women and tribal populations and uplift their livelihood, he said.
The honey beekeeping will change the lifestyle of small and marginal farmers and help in achieving the goal of increasing farmers’ income, he added.
In the statement, the government said Nafed has already helped set up first honey FPO ‘Chambal FED Shahad Utpadak Sahakari Samiti’ in Madhya Pradesh under the National Beekeeping and Honey Mission, which was registered on November 11, 2020.
This FPO will cover five blocks consisting of about 68 villages in the Morena district of the state.
The other four FPOs will be set up in Sundarbans (West Bengal), East Champaran (Bihar), Mathura (Uttar Pradesh), and Bharatpur (Rajasthan).
Together, this will cover 340 villages in five states.
Through these five FPOs, 4,000-5,000 beekeepers and honey collectors would be benefitted directly, it added.
According to the government, the honey FPOs will not only help its members upgrade their skills in scientific beekeeping but also in setting up of state-of-the-art infrastructural facilities for processing honey and allied beekeeping products like bee’s wax and propolis. Besides, they will also help in quality control lab collection, storage, bottling and marketing.
These FPOs will also get benefit from the government schemes under the National Bee Board’s National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM).
That apart, beekeepers and honey collectors of all the five states would be helped in branding and collective marketing of their honey and other allied products through the marketing channels of Nafed.
Efforts will also be made to explore the foreign market to improve the returns to the beekeepers and honey collectors, it added.
Under the new FPO scheme, the government has approved 2,200 FPO clusters to all implementing agencies for the current financial year. (PTI)