The National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM) has been making headlines recently for its efforts to promote and develop scientific beekeeping in India. Launched in 2020, the mission aims to achieve the goal of a ‘Sweet Revolution’ by enhancing the beekeeping industry and its contribution to income generation, employment, and agricultural development.
- Scheme Name: National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM)
- Scheme Modified: Launched in 2020
- Scheme Fund Allocated: Rs. 500 crores for 3 years (2020-21 to 2022-23)
- Type of Government Scheme: Central Sector Scheme
- Sponsored/Sector Scheme: Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare
Features of the Scheme
Under the National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM), the following key features have been implemented:
- Aim: The mission aims to promote and develop scientific beekeeping in India, with a focus on achieving a ‘Sweet Revolution’ in the country.
- Objectives: The mission seeks to promote holistic growth in the beekeeping industry, provide livelihood support to farm and non-farm households, enhance agriculture and horticulture production, develop additional infrastructural facilities, and promote the dissemination of the latest technologies and skill development in beekeeping.
- Empowerment of Women: The mission places special emphasis on empowering women through beekeeping.
- Integrated Beekeeping Development Centre: The establishment of Integrated Beekeeping Development Centres helps in providing comprehensive support and guidance to beekeepers.
- Centers of Excellence: Centres of Excellence are set up to facilitate research, innovation, and knowledge-sharing in the field of beekeeping.
- Infrastructure Development: The mission includes the establishment of testing and disease diagnostic labs, custom hiring centres, api-therapy centres, nucleus stock, and bee breeders to support the beekeeping industry.
- Financial Outlay: An allocation of Rs. 500 crores has been made for the mission, covering a period of three years from 2020-21 to 2022-23.
Benefits of National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM)
- Income and Employment Generation: The mission provides opportunities for income and employment generation through beekeeping activities.
- Livelihood Support: It offers support to farm and non-farm households, promoting their economic well-being.
- Enhanced Agricultural and Horticultural Production: Beekeeping contributes to improved pollination, leading to higher crop yields and enhanced agricultural and horticultural production.
- Skill Development: The mission focuses on the dissemination of state-of-the-art technologies and skill development in the beekeeping industry, equipping beekeepers with the latest knowledge and practices.
- Women Empowerment: The mission empowers women by providing them with opportunities to participate in the beekeeping industry and gain financial independence.
- Limited Reach: The mission’s impact might be limited to specific regions or states with suitable beekeeping conditions.
- Inadequate Awareness and Participation: Lack of awareness about the mission and its benefits among potential beneficiaries could hinder its success.
- Challenges in Technology Adoption: Incorporating state-of-the-art technologies may pose challenges for some traditional beekeepers who are not familiar with modern methods. Adapting to new practices and equipment might require time, resources, and training.
- Insufficient Infrastructure: While the mission aims to develop infrastructure, there might still be regions with inadequate facilities for beekeepers, such as a lack of testing and disease diagnostic labs or custom hiring centers.
- Sustainability Concerns: Rapidly expanding the beekeeping industry could raise concerns about its sustainability and potential impact on the natural environment. Unplanned growth may lead to overexploitation of resources and ecological imbalances.
- Risk of Disease Outbreaks: Concentration of bee colonies in certain areas could increase the risk of disease outbreaks.
- Access to Financial Resources: While an allocation of funds has been made for the mission, there might be challenges in ensuring equitable distribution of financial resources among eligible beekeepers, especially for those in remote or marginalized communities.
- Market Challenges: A sudden increase in honey production could lead to market saturation, affecting honey prices and the income of beekeepers. Ensuring stable market conditions and fair prices for honey may require careful planning and management.
- Climate Change Impact: Climate change can affect beekeeping by altering flowering patterns and bee behavior. Extreme weather events and changing temperature patterns might pose challenges for beekeepers and honey production.
- Competition and Monoculture Concerns: With increased focus on beekeeping, there might be increased competition among beekeepers, potentially leading to a decline in traditional agricultural practices or monoculture, affecting biodiversity.
The National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM) launched by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare is playing a crucial role in promoting scientific beekeeping and bringing about a ‘Sweet Revolution’ in India. By supporting the growth of the beekeeping industry, empowering women, and enhancing agricultural production, the mission holds the potential to transform the lives of farmers and contribute to the overall development of the country.