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Union Agriculture Minister Launches NAFED's Honey FPO Programme

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar launched five Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) for producing honey which will be set up with the help of NAFED in East Champaran (Bihar), Morena (Madhya Pradesh), Bharatpur (Rajasthan), Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) and Sunderbans (West Bengal).

Pritam Kashyap

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar launched five Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) for producing honey which will be set up with the help of NAFED in East Champaran (Bihar), Morena (Madhya Pradesh), Bharatpur (Rajasthan), Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) and Sunderbans (West Bengal). 

The inauguration programme was hosted online and attended by the new Honey FPOs, farmers and FPOs from various parts of the nation.  

Tomar said, “Beekeeping in India is highly predominant in the unorganized 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.” 

He also said that honey beekeeping will change the lifestyle of small and marginal farmers and help in achieving the goal of increasing farmer’s income. 

“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. Through these Honey FPOs, NAFED will also work for the promotion of beekeeping as an occupation for unemployed women and tribal populations and uplift their livelihood,” Tomar said. 

According to NAFED, 4,000 to 5,000 bee-keepers and honey collectors would benefit directly through these five FPOs. NAFED would help them in branding and collective marketing of the honey as well as explore overseas markets for them. 

The central government is promoting the creation of FPOs given their significant role in fulfilling the mission of implementing agricultural reforms in the nation. Promotion & Formation of FPOs is the first step for converting Krishi into Atmanirbhar Krishi. For this purpose, the new Central Sector Scheme for Formation & Promotion of new 10,000 FPOs was launched. 

Implementing Agencies had also identified the block-wise clusters. FPOs will be developed by specialist 'Cluster-Based Business Organizations (CBBOs)’ engaged by Implementing Agencies. NAFED had already empanelled the CBBOs and other IAs are in the process of empanelment of CBBOs. 

The government has roped in many State level organisations too for setting up FPOs. Among them are Watershed Development Department of Karnataka (100 FPOs), SFAC-Haryana (50), SFAC- Tamil Nadu (50), North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation (50)), 100 FPOs and National Rural Livelihood Mission of Ministry of Rural Development (100). Besides, the Agriculture Ministry directly spearhead constitution of 100 organic farming and 100 oilseeds FPOs, the statement said. 

National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited. (NAFED) has been appointed as the 4th National Implementing Agency other than SFAC, NABARD and NCDC for the creation of 10,000 FPOs by the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers’ Welfare (DAC&FW). NAFED has recently taken over the national level Federation of Indian FPOs and Aggregators (FIFA) to create sustainable smallholder institutions to enhance collective capacities, shortening of Agri produce value chains for equitable returns to all stakeholders and leveraging technology for enhanced transparency, scale and seamless agri. produce trading. Creation of Honey FPOs is one of the thrust areas of FIFA’s business plan. 

NAFED, through its empanelled Cluster-Based Business Organisation (CBBO) Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals (ISAP) has initiated the formation and promotion of FPOs of beekeepers and honey collectors in 5 States of India.  

The areas covered under the programme are Sundarbans in West Bengal, East Champaran in Bihar, Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, Morena in Madhya Pradesh and Bharatpur in Rajasthan. The First Honey FPO, Chambal FED Shahad Utpadak Sahakari Samiti, in the state of Madhya Pradesh under National Beekeeping & Honey Mission was registered on 11.11.2020 under the Cooperatives Act.   

The FPO will cover 5 blocks consisting of about 68 villages in Morena District of the state. The other four FPOs in the state of Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal shall cover 340 villages in these states. Through these 5 FPOs, 4000 – 5000 Beekeepers / Honey Collectors would be benefitted directly. 

The Honey FPOs made by ISAP under the aegis of National Bee Board (NBB) and NAFED will help its members in not only upgrading their skills in Scientific Bee Keeping but will also help in making its members set up the state of the art infrastructural facilities for processing honey and allied beekeeping products like bee’s wax, propolis, royal jelly, bee venom, etc., quality control laboratories, collection, storage, bottling and marketing centres.  

These FPOs will benefit from the schemes of Mini Mission – 1 and Mini Mission – 2 of National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM) of National Bee Board.  

The beekeepers/honey collectors of all the 5 states would be helped in branding and collective marketing of their Honey and other allied products of beekeeping through the marketing channels of NAFED. Efforts will also be made to explore the overseas market for improving the returns to the Bee Keepers and Honey collectors. 

Source: PIB  

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