Sambrak(Meghalaya), Jan 14: Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma today unveiled the plaque to mark the laying of the foundation for the Integrated Beekeeping Development Centre (IBDC) at Sambrak Seed Farm, in North Garo Hills in presence of Deputy Speaker Timothy D. Shira, Kharkutta MLA Rupert Momin, Bajengdoba MLA Pongseng M Sangma and other dignitaries.
The first of its kind project in Meghalaya is estimated to cost Rs.10 Crore, funded by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India. The initiative is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to develop the beekeeping industry for the overall growth of the rural economy.
The Government of India is promoting beekeeping industry through a Centrally Sponsored Scheme –Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) Scheme, under a component “Pollination Support through Beekeeping” and has been designated National Bee Board (NBB), as Nodal Agency for promoting Scientific Beekeeping under NHM/MIDH.
Talking about the Government’s mission to promote honey, the Chief Minister said, “We have been working with different stakeholders with a sole focus on the preservation, propagation and scientific farming of the indigenous bee of the State.” He informed that around 6000 beekeepers in the State and a total of 7000 plus people have been trained in beekeeping by the Meghalaya Institute of Entrepreneurship (MIE).
Enlightening that Meghalaya being rated as one of the best region for beekeeping considering the availability in terms of bee pasturage, the Chief Minister said, “The State has immense beekeeping potential, however due to lack of knowledge and information about the scope, the farmers have not been able to reap the optimum benefits.”
Meghalaya envisages to tap the potential of about 5 lakh honey bee colonies, while the existing bee colonies are 16,728 Nos i.e only 3% of the estimated potential. The setting up of the Integrated Bee Development Centre (IBDC) in the State, will enable the State to further boost the honey bee industry.
IBDC will help in overall sustainable development of scientific and robust beekeeping in the State. IBDC’s shall also function as information and demonstration units. The centre will cover an area at least 20-25 acres of land.