Honey, Employment and Life: How Women and Indigenous Practices in Kaziranga are changing lives
Updated: Nov 22, 2019
Khadi and Village Industries Commission ( KVIC ) has created a new world record of distributing maximum number of bee-boxes in a single day – beating previous best of 841 in Israel around two years ago. May 21 is celebrated as World Honey Bee Day. Today, KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena distributed 1,000 bee-boxes among 100 people belonging to the Mishing Assamese tribe in the Kaziranga forest, thereby setting a new world record.
KVIC, with its enthusiastic ‘Honey Mission’ has a target of distributing 1.3 lakh bee-boxes across the nation before November 2018 – right from Narmada valley of Gujarat to Kaziranga Forest in Assam, and from hilly areas of Jammu and Kashmir to dense forests of Mysuru.
At Kaziranga, practical training was imparted to 100 beneficiaries in examination of honeybee colonies, acquaintance with apicultural equipment, identification and management of bee enemies and diseases, honey extraction and wax purification, and management of bee colonies in spring, summer, monsoon, autumn and winter seasons.
Besides giving them certificates of trained bee-keepers, the KVIC experts also delved upon honey bee species, colony organization, division of labor and life cycle of honey bees; management of honey bee colonies during different seasons. The KVIC also distributed 200 gm. Honey bottles to 500 school kids of Sankar Dev Sishu Niketan, at Kohera village in Kaziranga. Altogether 25,000 honey bottles were distributed across the country by KVIC on May 21 to celebrate the World Honey Bee Day.
KVIC Chairman further said that besides production of 30,000 kilograms of high-quality honey from these bee-boxes in the zero-pollution Kaziranga area, bee-keeping would open many job avenues for the unemployed youths and aspiring young entrepreneurs.
“Being the nodal agency of Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), the KVIC would provide loans for setting up units of processing, packaging and labelling units for honey,” he said.
Adding, “The development initiatives taken by KVIC in Assam have given a ray of hope for tribal people here and they are willing to be the part of development. The bee-keeping will also enhance the rich flora and fauna of the Kaziranga forest area through cross-pollination.”
The KVIC had last year established Khadi training-cum-production centre in association with Assam forest department, providing 25 charkhas, five looms and other accessories to the village artisans at Silimkhowa village. It was for the first time in Assam, when Cotton Khadi work was started with 10-spindle charkhas, providing job opportunities to nearly 50 rural families of this area.
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