Umaiser Gul Ganai
Srinagar, May 20: As May 20 is celebrated as World Honey Bee Day, experts in Kashmir Friday called for a collective approach for saving the flora and fauna of bees stating that Valley produces quality and number one honey.
Director Agirculture Kashmir Chowdhary Muhammad Iqbal said that May 20 is observed as the World Honey Bee Day across the globe and also in Kashmir. “We have a huge potential but there are some challenges as well. At present 90,000 youth are associated with the Honey production job. There is a huge scope for this business as it can provide livelihood to lakhs of youth,” he said.
He said that Kashmir produces 14 types of honey and Valley’s honey is number one across the globe.
“We have faced some challenges due to the spraying of chemicals in orchards, gardens and fields etc which leaves bees dead. But in remote areas, there are a large number of bees producing huge quantities of honey,” Iqbal said, adding that “its high time for a collective approach to save the flora-and fauna of honey bees.”
In Kashmir, Anantnag district produced highest quantity of honey. “In year 2019-20, the district produced 532 quintals of honey,” the Director Agriculture said.
He said that in the last five years, Kashmir has produced 33589 quintals of honey.
Dr Manzoor Ahmed Parray Professor and Head Division Entomology (SAUST-K) told KNO that Kashmir produces organic and pure honey. “We have a great bloom that turns honey into organic,” he said.
He said that different events were held in Pulwama and other areas. “Two honey and Bee Hiving testing facility has been inaugurated in Kashmir which is first of its kind,” he said. Parray said that today, Union Minister for Agriculture Narendera Singh Taumar.
He said that the testing facility will help bee keepers and honey producers to get their honey tested whether it has iron, pesticide or some adulterated content. “We have trained hundreds of youth who are into beekeeping business and they are earning a good livelihood,” Professor said. He said that Kashmir honey has zero adulteration and it has huge benefits. “Kashmir honey has a great demand in the international market,” he said. “In Kashmir, we have two lakh bee colonies and 10,000 beekeepers.” In 2020-21, Kashmir produced 7500 Qtls of honey. “The demand for Kashmiri honey has increased a lot,” he said, adding that honey has great health benefits.