Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar launched 'Amul Honey- A product of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF)' under active cooperation with 'National Bee Board (NBB)' today virtually in the presence of Union Minister for Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairying Parshottam Rupala. Addressing the launching event, Tomar emphasized the importance of the National Beekeeping and Honey Mission in increasing the income of small farmers, which is being implemented in the country for doubling the income of farmers or beekeepers through beekeeping with the budgetary allocation of Rs 500 crore.
Tomar said that there are 86% small farmers in the country. To increase the income of these small farmers, it is necessary to connect them with other dimensions of agriculture like beekeeping. The minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed his desire for a sweet revolution on Gujarat's soil. Today, by launching Amul Honey, India has started the journey towards fulfilling his dream.
Speaking on occasion, he expressed that the quality of honey is a significant concern in the country. Five large-scale Regional Honey Testing Labs and 100 Mini Honey Testing Labs are being set up all over the country. He added, "It should be our constant effort that the quality of our honey products should also meet the global standards as there are lots of export opportunities in this sector." The minister assured the beekeepers and farmers of the country that the Government of India would provide all necessary support for the promotion and development of beekeeping in the country.
Appreciating efforts made by Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), Tomar said, "Amul has not only set up a milestone in the direction of the White Revolution, but it also expanded in the milk processing sector and established itself as a global brand. Besides this, Amul also provides employment opportunities to marginal farmers and significantly contributes to the country's overall progress in the dairy sector." The minister also assured GMMF that the Agriculture Ministry would look into the proposal for establishing a testing lab in Gujarat.
Parshottam Rupala congratulated GCMMF on launching its Honey product. He also expressed happiness that Amul Honey is being launched after testing it as per the global standard. He said, "Promoting beekeeping and selling honey through cooperatives will give a boost to the rural economy."
He also encouraged farmers and beekeepers that, along with honey, they can also produce additional beekeeping products, such as beeswax, pollen, and royal jelly. These products have high demand and better prices in the Indian and international markets.
Sanjay Agarwal, secretary (A&FW), said, "After implementation of National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM), the whole scenario of beekeeping in the country has changed. The thrust is being given on assuring the quality of honey, aggregation of beekeepers, providing infrastructural facilities including honey testing labs, Madhukranti portal to stop adulteration in honey production."
Dr R S Sodhi, managing director, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, mentioned that dairy cooperatives and their infrastructural facilities could be simultaneously used for Honey production through their established set up of 84 Dairy Plants overall the country.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Kailash Choudhary, Sushri Shobha Karandlaje, secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry Atul Chaturvedi, and senior officials of the MoAF and MoAHFD were present at the occasion. Shamalbhai Patel, chairman, GCMMF, Valamjibhai Humbal, vice chairman, GCMMF, Shankar Chaudhary, chairman, Banas Dairy, joined virtually from Gujarat.