How Kashmiri Farmers Are Supplementing Their Incomes With Beekeeping

How Kashmiri Farmers Are Supplementing Their Incomes With Beekeeping

By means of Athar Parvaiz*, Bandipora, Jammu & Kashmir

Towseefa Rizwi, a lady entrepreneur within the Shalhar village of Bandipora district in north Kashmir, compares herself with the ladies running within the executive sector, and reveals one giant distinction: “I’m impartial.” Rizwi is the landlord of Kashmir Valley Agro Business (KVAI) the place her husband Parvez works as manufacturing supervisor.

She basically offers in honey, which she processes and programs at her personal plant within the village. “I at all times had the will of beginning my very own trade. And I’m grateful to honey bees for making me notice my dream,” Rizwi advised with a large smile on her face.

Kashmir Valley, with massive sources to be had, particularly huge tracts of horticultural land, has a perfect attainable for beekeeping and exporting honey to other Indian states. This has caused the agriculture division of Kashmir to advertise beekeeping within the area. Horticultural farmers who took to beekeeping are benefiting for his or her efforts. Apiary trade has additionally given upward thrust to a success processing gadgets.

Viable trade

In line with Rizwi, all the space has been recognized for conserving a minimum of one or two beehives that are most commonly conventional Kashmiri beehives. “I assumed why can not we do it on a large scale? And someday I advised my husband that we will be able to arrange our personal honey processing plant,” she stated. “So we implemented for a mortgage and arrange the plant which has a capability of processing as much as 3 heaps of honey in line with day.” She has been doing this trade for 10 years now.

Rizwi refused to proportion the main points about the once a year earnings, however she stated that she is making a decent source of revenue from the honey trade. “We arrange the affairs of our circle of relatives and the schooling of our youngsters with the source of revenue from the honey trade,” she stated.

Towseefa Rizwi at her honey processing plant in Shalhar-Bandipora. (Photograph by way of Athar Parvaiz)

Towseefa Rizwi at her honey processing plant in Shalhar-Bandipora. (Photograph by way of Athar Parvaiz)
Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, a beekeeper in Rizwi’s village stated that he determined to stay bees after he noticed Rizwi doing smartly in her beekeeping trade. “I were given 5 bee colonies from the federal government at sponsored fee in 2015 that have now larger to 20,” Bhat advised “Although I misplaced a couple of of them to harsh climate in April this 12 months, I believe I get numerous monetary receive advantages. For instance, I were given a benefit of Rs 20,000 this 12 months.”

Bees supply sustenance

For Zamrooda Khan, a lady entrepreneur in downtown Srinagar, defeating the best demanding situations of lifestyles do not have been simple if her bees had no longer stored her busy. Draped in a black scarf together with her head lined in a shawl, she cuts a putting determine. Miseries and melancholic moments in her lifestyles have didn’t shake her unravel for dwelling a dignified lifestyles. Khan has no longer best fought the struggle in opposition to breast most cancers effectively following her divorce, however has additionally grew to become herself right into a small entrepreneur.

Khan discovered that her task at a personal college used to be fetching her too measly an quantity and used to be no longer sufficient for assembly her bills. This, she says, made her take into consideration further source of revenue to shore up her profits from the college.

“Since my father was a a success beekeeper of his occasions and I had learnt many stuff from him about beekeeping, I wasted no time and began a small apiary,” Khan advised She began her trade, Busy Bee Honey Apiary, after receiving additional coaching from the agriculture division in 2003. “This task suited me, for it stored me busy and that too with the character’s proficient beings known as honey bees.”

For her, it isn’t a trade, however a small undertaking for feeding her daughter and son, but even so getting drugs for her. She produces round 100 kg of honey from her beehives each and every season, which fetches her sustenance. “However I indubitably need to amplify this undertaking by way of putting in a processing plant in long term. I’ve interest for this career,” Khan stated.

Migrating to overcome the elements

“I’m strongly fascinated about expanding the collection of my bee colonies. If I’ve extra colonies, I will be able to call to mind migrating them out of Kashmir all over wintry weather. Those that have a minimum of a truck-load of bee colonies, rent vehicles in winters and migrate the colonies to heat spaces that experience extra plants,” Bhat advised Maximum beekeepers of Kashmir shift their beehives to Jammu, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra in winters.

Within the Gulgam village of northern Kupwara district, greater than 12 villagers, who earn their livelihoods from beekeeping, have migrated their beehives to Rajasthan and Gujarat. “Moving the hives out of Kashmir all over wintry weather makes numerous financial sense to us. It offers us an additional crop and assists in keeping the bees wholesome as smartly,” Mohammad Yaseen, a beekeeper of Gulgam village, who has 140 beehives, advised

Attainable and demanding situations

“We are actually selling honey bees as brokers of pollination which is not going to best lead to expanding crop productiveness, however may also build up honey manufacturing. The theory could also be to generate employment via this sector by way of price addition,” Farooq Ahmad Shah, leader technical officer at Kashmir’s Department of Agriculture, advised

At this time, the trade is faced with the specter of Varroa illness brought about by way of Varroa mite that feeds on larvae and grownup bees. All the way through the previous two-and-half many years, this illness has destroyed Apis cerana, the honeybee, which has historically been present in Kashmir, virtually fully and has additionally brought about in depth injury to Apis mellifera, the Ecu honeybee, which used to be delivered to Jammu & Kashmir from Europe.

“The trade suffered a significant setback in 1982 when majority of Apis cerana bees had been burnt up. Then the trade used to be revived with the creation of Apis mellifera. But it surely additionally were given suffering from the illness in 2005-06 leading to extermination of as much as 80 % of the colonies,” Shah advised

Then again, Shah stated, the trade has once more made a comeback in recent times with the assistance of era and pesticides. In line with Shah, right now there are over 35,000 honeybee colonies in Kashmir and the collection of registered honey cultivators is 1,484. As in line with the estimates of agricultural mavens, there’s a attainable for 120,000 colonies in Kashmir taking into account the large availability of horticultural land. The Kashmir area has 161,682 ha of land under horticulture and it’s expanding annually, as some farmers choose rising end result moderately than rice.

In line with Farooq Ahmad, a former agriculture officer who has printed a number of papers on beekeeping in journals reminiscent of The Bee Global and Indian Bee Magazine, and an orchardist, who has 10 kanals (round 1/2 a hectare) of orchard, one must have a minimum of 3 bee colonies for making sure a excellent manufacturing. “So, you’ll simply consider the prospective we now have for apiculture taking into account the supply of 1000’s of hectares of horticultural land in Kashmir,” Ahmad advised

However, Ahmad stated that the Jammu & Kashmir executive wishes to handle some urgent problems, that are hurting the beekeeping trade in Kashmir. “Crucial of those problems is the loss of right kind coaching for beekeepers and the unavailability of preventive and regulate measures for tackling pests and sicknesses,” Ahmad stated.

Athar Parvaiz is a Srinagar-based journalist.

This text used to be first printed on, a public-interest communications platform interested by rural India.

The evaluations expressed on this submit are the non-public perspectives of the creator. They don’t essentially mirror the perspectives of HuffPost India. Any omissions or mistakes are the creator’s and HuffPost India does no longer suppose any legal responsibility or duty for them.

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