NIFTEM and IHA organize an awareness and training program for the beekeeper community

More than 100 beekeepers from Saharanpur and nearby districts participated in the awareness program and gathered valuable insights and technical knowledge
NIFTEM and IHA organize an awareness and training program for the beekeeper community
Photo - NIFTEM

With an aim to strengthen the Indian beekeeping ecosystem and up-skill the beekeeping community, NIFTEM (National Institute of Food Technology & Entrepreneurship Management) and IHA (India Honey Alliance) collaborated and jointly organized a training program for beekeepers at Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh) on 27 and 28 March 2024.  

More than 100 beekeepers and FPOs (Farmer Producer Organizations) from Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh) and nearby districts participated in the awareness program and gathered valuable insights and technical knowledge and best practices required for the efficient management of bee colonies. Experts like Dr Komal Chauhan, Dean Research and Outreach, NIFTEM, Dr Satish Kushwaha, Senior Analyst, CFRA, NIFTEM, Dr I.K. Kushwaha, KVK, Saharanpur and Dr Lakshmi Rao, NRLM and ex-Addl. Director CBRTI, conducted sessions & imparted training. Dignitaries such as Minhaj Alam, Additional Secretary, MoFPI, Dr H.S. Oberoi, Director NIFTEM-K, Dr R.S. Rajpoot, Deputy Director (PDF), SFAC also briefed the beekeeping community and joined virtually.

The opening remarks were given by Namrata Khanna, director, IHA. The various sessions during the two-day event focused on Beekeeping: How to keep bees and process, Regulatory requirements for setting up a honey business, Technical Beekeeping - Hygienic Extraction & Equipment Maintenance and Maintaining Bee Colonies.  

Minhaj Alam, additional secretary, MoFPI, opined, “There are multiple schemes of MoFPI through which the beekeeping community can benefit. At MoFPI, we sponsor various promotional activities to support and educate the small scale industries. The PMKSY and PMFME schemes are specially intended for medium, small and micro scale industries. Further, to boost the income of farmers and provide them a sustainable livelihood, the training program by NIFTEM & IHA is a great initiative and a value addition which will address many ground level issues faced by beekeepers. More such events will go a long way to educate beekeepers.”

Dr H.S. Oberoi, director, NIFTEM, said, “At NIFTEM, we want to build capacity of beekeepers and provide them with necessary skills and resources to upgrade them. Organisations like CBRTI, Pune and NIFTEM are working towards this direction. To tackle the issue of adulteration, we need pure samples of honey, from sources that have scientific beekeeping practices, so that FSSAI can revise the standards to be more realistic based on scientific evidence specific to Indian honey. I also request IHA and the beekeepers to make a geographical database for honey for  traceability. This will benefit the honest honey players and beekeepers.”

Dr Komal Chauhan, dean Research and Outreach, NIFTEM, mentioned, “As a part of our agreement with IHA, one of the primary objectives is to create awareness activities which will promote knowledge and information dissemination & training of stakeholders. This training program at Saharanpur is just a beginning and will surely go a long way in educating the beekeepers and bridging the skill deficits at the ground level. We look forward to organizing more such events at many other cities across the country.” 

Speaking about the initiative, Namrata Khanna, director, IHA, said “The top focus is to create consumer awareness, and thereby increase honey consumption. This will directly benefit the beekeepers if they follow scientific beekeeping methods, to extract honey & other hive products. The two-day training program by IHA is  a step forward in promoting beekeeping and creating opportunities for micro-enterprise development. We would like to work closely with the Government & other organisations to create a better eco-system for honey.” 

Along with beekeepers, many FPOs (Farmer Producer Organizations) like Aryahi Fed Farmers Producer Company and Divine International Foundation that work for beekeepers, including women attended the training program and gained valuable insights.  


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