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Jammu & Kashmir poised to witness ‘Sweet Revolution’

Jammu & Kashmir, which has a long and distinguished history of beekeeping and honey production, is now prepared to experience a "Sweet Revolution" as a result of the administration's sincere efforts.

Shivam Dwivedi
J&K's climatic conditions allow for plenty of flora all year, making it the best destination beekeeping.
J&K's climatic conditions allow for plenty of flora all year, making it the best destination beekeeping.

Beekeepers are processing raw honey in government facilities for free as part of the current administration's apiculture development schemes in the Union Territory. Small-time keepers are also offered the services of honey testing and logo stamping for better market returns. These processing units provide a one-stop solution for reducing the moisture in honey, filtering it, and packaging it.


New-age agripreneurs are adding value to honey by creating products such as soaps, candles, cosmetics, Ayurvedic medicines, and so on, which are in high demand in the Indian market. As a result, consumers have shifted to non-toxic, organic products that are free of health risks, creating a huge opportunity for young people to start a profitable business. Given the growing popularity of Ramban White Honey, the Apiculture Department is working to promote the district's autumn produce through the 'One District, One Product' scheme.

It is distinctive not only in colour and flavour, but also in medicinal properties. Beekeeping, which requires less land and almost no initial investment, is expected to contribute significantly to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of doubling farmers' income if farmers and landowners embrace it as a non-competitive and off-farm activity. J&K's climatic conditions allow for plenty of flora all year, making it the best destination for this activity. Beneficiaries of India's National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM) are given bee boxes, live bee colonies, tool kits, and training to help them establish themselves.


The Agriculture Department assists in the support of uneducated farmers. These farmers teach others, and as a result, the bee colonies continue to grow. In the last two years, 2,000 colonies have been provided to new beekeepers at a 40% subsidy in the Kulgam district alone. 

To be sure, the GI tag is now in the works. Some bee hotspots, such as Bhalla and Sarthal in the Doda district, which are rich in flowering plants, are being used to promote Honeybee Tourism.  Because the beekeeping industry necessitates a green forest area and a large area dedicated to flowers, the industry is mostly concentrated in untouched, naturally abundant areas. In April, the beekeeping season begins. The Agriculture Department is also working with apiarists in the Union Territory to standardise their produce in order to promote honey exports. It is believed that maintaining homogeneous honey varieties will aid in the development of the Kashmir Brand and drive honey export.

The Kashmir Brand is already a well-known global brand, and the only challenge now is to unite all beekeepers into a single community and have an advisory board set business objectives for them. Beekeeping clusters are being established in the Jammu division under the Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) Scheme at a cost of Rs 4.08 crore. The scheme, which will benefit 600 beekeepers, will be operational by April 2023. 


This scheme includes 29 projects curated by agricultural scientists to double farmers' income, increase exports, and make all farming and related sectors sustainable and commercially viable. It is expected to provide employment opportunities for 2.8 lakh young people in 19,000 businesses. Aside from the 2.5 lakhs, people will benefit from skill training in agri-businesses such as beekeeping. More than 6 lakh bee colonies can be found in Jammu and Kashmir. The UT will soon witness its first 'Sweet Revolution,' with the GI tag for honey and the government's futuristic schemes in place.


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