Baramulla youth scripts success in honey bee farming
Post by Syeda Rafiyah on Sunday, December 18, 2022
Srinagar, Dec 17: Jahangir Ahmad, a resident of Chukar village in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district has only set an example but his fortunes changed after he shifted from conventional apple to honey farming.
A post-graduate in Tourism subject from University of Kashmir, Jahangir already had an apple orchard spread over 10 kanals of land but that didn’t fetch good income for the family.
In 2016, after he completed his PG, apple production in their orchard dropped significantly and he thought of starting honey after he learned about its market price.
“I brought the honey bee from the agriculture department in Kashmir. Then I started their pollination. Since then, I have not looked back. I worked hard and have grown the business leaps and bounds,” he said.
The 32-year-old youth also received training from SKUAST-K about how to raise the bees and how to extract honey. Over the years, he has been earning a profitable income and honey bee farming has changed his fortune.
His hard work and dedication over the past six years has paid off. Currently, he has 350 honey bee colonies at his orchard which produce 150 quintals of honey annually.
Annually he earns Rs 5-6 lakhs and the honey has tremendous demand commercially. His farming has become a source of employment for three persons who work with him round the year.
Jahangir sells honey in local markets and also sends his produce to national markets like Hyderabad. Notably, he also sends the produce to Saudi Arabia as well.
“Locally we sell the one kilogram of honey at Rs 800 and there are also lower rung varieties that can cost Rs 400 to 500 a kg,” he said.
Each year Jahangir sets out with his bees to warmer places in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat in search of blossoms.
Jahangir said honey bee farming is a profitable venture and has a good entrepreneurship scope in Kashmir and youth should come forward and take lead in it.
“Unemployed youth can easily turn their land into a honey business as it fetches good income in the market. It doesn’t need a lot of money. Youth should come forward and lead the business,” he said.
Jahangir said honey bee farming does not need fertile land adding that it has several advantages for farmers since many plants and crops rely on bees for pollination.