KISAMA, DECEMBER 5: Nagaland’s unique and age old tradition of beekeeping has the potential to be the epi-center for apicultural activities with the presence of abundant nectar-rich flowering plants and favorable climatic conditions, rich vegetation and ideal topography, said Deputy Chief Minister TR Zeliang.
Addressing the 5th Nagaland Honey Bee Day at Bamboo Hall, Kisama, Zeliang said that under the guidance of the Nagaland Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM) and training villagers in the science of beekeeping, the once traditional hobby of beekeeping has been transformed into a sustainable source of income for the people and improved their livelihood
The day was organised by NBHM on the theme “Bee & Honey Trails: Garnering the beekeeping momentum”.
While the primary objective of the traditional beekeepers is solely for honey production, the intervention of the NBHM benefits the by-product such as production of bee wax and the role played by bees in pollination which enhances crop productivity is now sensitized to the people, he said.
This has led to many more people taking up beekeeping as primary source for economic sustainability and some as secondary activity to supplement their income, he said.
Informing that Nagaland has more than 1 lakh beekeepers across the State and the NBHM has added about 25000 more with proper guidance in beekeeping covering about 500 villages, he said the total honey production of the State stands at 440 Metric Tonne (MT) per annum and if the State is to achieve the target of 2000 Metric Tonne (MT) by 2030, as the Mission envisions, intensive and concerted effort should be taken up.
“Given the potentiality of the State, it would not be far-fetched to think that we can produce upwards of the 2000 MT target”, he said.
Nagaland State produces honey which has unique quality, in the sense that the taste of honey is higher in quality which has been attributed to the rich source of nutrition for honeybees acquired from the State’s varied flora thus producing a one of its kind taste, he said.
Further, because of the untainted vegetation in our forests by artificial fertilizers, the honey produced locally is ‘Organic’ and is healthier comparatively, the Deputy Chief Minister said.
He requested the North Eastern Council (NEC) to consider proposals in any way possible to help the Beekeeping community grow and become more self-sufficient.
He also felt that assistance should be sought from National Bee Board (NBB) for NBHM in any manner possible.
He also impressed upon the NBHM to put up proposal to the Ministry and “if required the State Government would be ever willing to recommend and help the Mission to attain the much needed assistance.”
He also viewed that a comprehensive proposal which encompasses the whole State and which would benefit every Beekeeping enthusiast in all the Districts should be prepared with NBHM as the Nodal Implementing agency.
Referring to launching of ‘Bee Tourism’ during this Hornbill Festival 2023 by NBHM, Zeliang was optimistic that the firsthand experience on the traditional beekeeping and unique practices would encourage and educate the local and non-local tourists.
He also extended best wishes to NBHM in revolutionizing the honey production in the State and putting the State in the world map.
“With your continued sincere efforts, I am confident that honey and its by-products would be produced in abundance and will help the growth of the State and positively impact on its people”, he said.
NBHM Chairman Obed Quinker said that through the interventions of the Mission, the apicultural activities in the State have moved from rudimentary to a more streamlined one involving all stakeholders across the State.
Quinker said that NBHM is the first Mission launched in the country and the forerunner in beekeeping for the entire Northeastern region.
Since then, the Mission has been providing technical trainings and consultancy services to the North Eastern States.
The Mission is also a permanent registered member with National Bee Board (NBB) with numbers of progressive beekeepers registered with it.
At the international level, beekeeping activities of the State has found its place in the world map through paper presentations in beekeeping conferences and workshops, leading to many bee enthusiasts and beekeepers to our unique natural beekeeping practices, also setting itinerary in visiting the State.
For the first time, the NBHM with the objective to showcase the State’s rich beekeeping tradition, bee tourism was introduced to Mima village under Kohima district which was flagged off on the November 29 from Kisama Heritage Village and it continues till the culmination of the Hornbill Festival on December 10.
Quinker said that the Bee & Honey Trail has been introduced with the main objective to promote rural tourism in boosting rural economy.
The Mission also plans, in the future, to promote bee tourism in other districts and reach out to more villages where there is long standing beekeeping history and traditions.
He said that in this 24th Hornbill Festival, “The Honey Hub” has also been set up at Kisama to provide one-stop for honey lovers, experience pure taste of honey from all districts across the State, by-products of beekeeping, Apitherapy, Honey confectioneries & honey beverages, bees pollinated products from Apiary, meet our local entrepreneurs and bee experts for first hand information.
Quinker said that beekeeping in Nagaland is presently characterized by low level technology, limited investment, low productivity, low quality and lack of market initiatives.
He said that Bees and Beekeeping is not new to Nagaland but is an age-old tradition. Bee keeping as a profession has also been gaining tremendous momentum in recent times in Nagaland.
Currently, it is estimated that about 120, 400 bee hives are presently reared in Nagaland, mostly under traditional method which is a mere 5.5% of the total potential.
Since its formation, the NBHM is engaged in various promotional activities such as capacity building and trainings; Publicity, extension & studies; Apiary development & technology advancement; post harvest & marketing services are being carried out across the State.
Since the launching of the Mission, the NBHM has up scaled honey production from 120 MT to 440 MT per annum.
He said that the achievements of the Mission have encouraged the rest of the Northeastern States to launch beekeeping missions in their respective States.
Planning Advisor NEC, Ministry of DONER, Som Kamei, Advisor (Technical), North East Centre for Technology Application and Reach (NECTAR) Dr. Collin Z Renthlei, Marketing Head Northeast Region TRIFED Abhijeet Dutta and Founder, Cold Mountain Organics, Dimapur, Lanuakum Imchen also spoke on the occasion.
Team Member NBHM Chubanungla Shilu chaired the programme while welcome address was delivered by Commissioner & Secretary & Mission Director NBHM Sushil Kumar Patel. Additional Secretary to Chief Minister & Team Leader NBHM Sentiwapang Aier tendered the vote of thanks.
Various awards conferred on the occasion are: Imtinuksang Jamir from Mokokchung district – State level best beekeeper 2023; Old Jalukie VBKC – best State level Village Beekeeping Committee 2023.
District level best beekeeper awardees: Vitsore Kense (Chumoukedima), Mulupoyi (Chumoukedima), Ningurazo (Kohima), Thsanshimong (Kiphire), Y Shingjei Phom (Longleng), Imtinuksang Jamir (Mokokchung), Sheakpong Konyak (Mon), Vihoto Sumi ( Niuland), Lamthaio (Noklak), Raneyi Nyekha (Phek), Aching ( Peren), K. Zhelo (Shamator), Philip (Tseminyu), Rengphamo Murry (Wokha), Ayin Mongba (Tuensang) and Akato Kini (Zunheboto).
Painting competition: 1st -Moalemla Longkumer, Hollotoli School, 2nd- Sudip Biswas, Don Bosco Higher Secondary School, 3rd- Linali Sumi, Delhi Public School.
(Page News Service)