Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir, India: several years ago, villagers of a remote village of Rajouri took up the work of beekeeping to increase their income, but today they are approaching government for the help to market their product.
Farmers of the Dandesar village in Rajouri are hoping that the government will assist them in getting access to a suitable platform.
The sarpanch of the village, Arshad Mehmood said that villagers have been facing difficulties in selling honey.
“The villagers have been demanding an increase in markets for selling honey. They work very hard round the year. Some people even produce large quantities of honey but have no place to sell it. Many villagers of Dandesar are poor,” Mehmood told ANI.
As many as 200 farmers in the village have around 2000 man-made hive boxes, informed the sarpanch.
Mehmood further said, “The honey that is produced here is very famous as it is pure.”
Mohd Shabbir, a resident of Dandekar said, “I have been doing this business for 10 years along with agricultural farming. The problem is that we have no market for honey.”
Another honey bee farmer, Haji Mohd Ishaq told ANI that he has been doing honey bee farming for the last 30 years.
“We start producing honey in the first week of March and by May 15 we take it out. As the village is surrounded by jungles that have herbs, the honey produced here rich and pure. There is no mixing of any preservatives,” he said.
Underlining the issue of not having a market to sell their produce, Ishaq reiterated the hardships faced by many villagers. “However, sometimes when we get an order from Punjab or Delhi as this is a top priority honey,” he added.
Talking about support from the administration, Ishaq said that the Department of Agriculture has provided training in honey bee farming and given subsidies.
Mahish Verma Chief Agricultural Officer, Rajouri said, “We have three training centres in Budhal, Darhal and Thanamandi. There are as many as 136 beehives in total to train and demonstrate people.”
He also urged the farmers to follow integrated farming to earn more.
“The farmers can take up dairy farming, vegetable farming, honey bee farming to increase their income,” said Verma.