KVK, Lucknow under ICAR-IISR grooms a Marginal Land Holding Farmer to earn Crores from Beekeeping
Mastering his skills in Beekeeping, Shri Brajesh Kumar Verma of Village - Madarpur Kevali, Block - Gosaiganj, Lucknow District got himself acclaimed as the well-known Apiculturist in Central Zone of Uttar Pradesh. Besides earning a good amount of livelihood, he also provides employment to many farmers and rural youths in the Zone and inspires others too for practicing the same not only in Uttar Pradesh but in the adjoining States too.
Due to the family's economic constraints, Shri Verma started farming in his parental land of 0.4 ha only. He also tried to get some land on lease for farming from his fellow villagers.
He learnt about the practices of Beekeeping that were being promoted by the Department of Horticulture, Government of Uttar Pradesh in 1990. To give an initial start, Shri Brajesh consulted some literature on Beekeeping and visited the Department in Lucknow along with his fellow villagers where he was provided with one Bee Box for free of cost. With his hard work and perseverance, he managed to purchase 10 more Bee Boxes within 2 Years from the returns he obtained by selling the Honey from the initial one Bee Box.
On being successful in his venture, Shri Verma also formed a Beekeepers’ Group and got it registered by the name of “Abhishek Gramodyog Sansthan” with the Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Government of Uttar Pradesh. Besides producing honey in large quantities, the Organization established a Honey Processing Unit at Gosaiganj of Lucknow District with the support of the State Government’s Village Development Department.
The team workers collect raw honey from the different villages, get it processed for high quality honey production and sell it at the different outlets in the State. Shri Brajesh also participated in the Well-Structured Training Programmes / Courses that were being conducted at the Krishi Vigyan Kendra, ICAR-Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. This helped him to acquire the knowledge of efficient methods for good quality Honey extraction from the Beehives, branding of the product and its sale by establishing the various outlets in the State.
After getting the encouraging results of an On-farm trial carried out by the KVK, ICAR-IISR, Lucknow, he started the collection of the subsidiary products of Beekeeping from 2011 onwards. Now, this KVK technology is being adopted not only by him and his team, but many farmers of Lucknow and the adjoining Districts and States too.
Shri Verma migrates and shifts his 600 Bee Boxes round the year in the different States as per the availability of food materials for Honeybees. The shifting and migration of Bee Boxes depend on the availability of the crops at the flowering stage having sufficient quantities of Pollen and Nectar.
He starts installing the Bee Boxes in the Mustard Crop at the farmers’ fields in Lucknow District from November to February and migrates to Muzaffarpur, Samastipur, Darbhanga and Begusarai Districts in Bihar for Litchi, Maize and Pearl Millet Crops from March to September Months. He has also identified some new areas in Kasganj, Mainpuri, Firozabad, Unnao and Sitapur Districts of Uttar Pradesh itself for small-scale migration. He accordingly deputes some small teams for shifting the Bee Boxes to the Maize and Pearl Millet Crops besides, eucalyptus tree once the Mustard Crop is harvested in the Lucknow District.
Encouraged by his success, many farmers not only from Uttar Pradesh, but Bihar too have well-established linkages with him for honey production, enhancing income and Entrepreneurship Development through Beekeeping. Till now, he has trained about 6,000 farmers, but regularly motivates and trains the other rural youths of the different Districts for carrying out the Beekeeping work free of cost.
Around 1,120 Beekeepers of Lucknow District are directly linked and associated with his Organization and produce about 350 Tonnes Honey, 150 Kgs Pollen and 100 Kgs Propolis. This helps in earning a good amount of approximately Rs. 3 Crores from this Rural Venture every year.
The Organization sells its products through a Trading Company - “Kiran Enterprises” with FSSAI Certification. Now, Shri Verma has recently started fabricating the Bee Boxes, Frame, Wax Sheet, Cover (inner and top), etc., with a view to make the Beekeeping Equipments easily available to the farmers and the rural youths.
Shri Verma is a Life Member of the National Bee Board, Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India. He has also been awarded and felicitated many times both at the State and National levels for his noble and remarkable work being done for the prosperity and overall development of the farming community not only in his area, but the other Districts and States too.
(Source: Krishi Vigyan Kendra, ICAR-Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh)