India's first 'Honey Village' to come up in Maharashtra's Manghar
Under the ambit of Project Honeybee, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission has decided to launch the Village of Honey scheme in Maharashtra's Manghar.
Located 10 kilometres away from Mahabaleshwar, this village in Satara is the first one to be developed as a ‘Madhache Gaav’ by the administration. This initiative will be launched by the Industries Minister Subhash Desai on May 16 at a budget of about ₹50 lakhs.
Scheme to be implemented in other villages too
The authorities will set up bee-breeding centres, distribute bee boxes, honey sale counters and set up information centres in the village as a part of this project. So far, bee boxes have already been distributed in the village at a subsidised rate while the breeding centre will be unveiled during the launch.
As per reports, the honey will be processed and then directly sold to the tourists under the label of village's brand. The villagers will also be guided and trained to use the byproducts to make soaps, shampoos and oil to generate extra income.
As a part of this project, the administration is also trying to increase the number of bees in the area. Saplings of jamun, litchi, cinnamon, mulberry and other trees have also been planted to add to the existing fauna to propagate flora for the bees.
According to the CEO of Maharashtra State Khadi and Village Industries Board, the plan will soon be implemented at other villages in the state too.
Jingles & advertisments to attract crowd to this new travel destination
Around 25 lakh tourists visit Mahabaleshwar every year, hoarding and boards of this initiative will be put up at tourists spots to attract these tourists. Jingles after this village of honey will also be broadcasted on the radio to publicise this concept.
Even though the main centre of this apiary business is based out of Mahabaleshwar, most of the families living at Manghar are also involved in the same sector. Out of the 100 households in the village, around 80 are currently involved in the beekeeping business. As per sources, Mahabaleshwar and its satellite areas account to 28% of the total honey produced in Maharashtra.
With Maharashtra as one of the most dominant honey producers in the country, India ranks sixth in the world in terms of natural honey export. According to experts, the domestic market of apiculture is expected to go beyond ₹33,000 million in the current financial year.
A multi-faceted initiative!
Apart from boosting honey production, this initiative of the Maharashtra government is aimed at imparting first-hand knowledge of this procedure. In addition to this, the scheme will also develop village-based tourism while underlining the importance of honeybees in the food chain.
While talking about the concept, an official revealed that the idea is to transform the local economy and create awareness regarding the importance honeybees. Moreover, this scheme will also create employment opportunities for the local people.
If you wish to see the forest-to-fork trail of honey, head out to this village after May 16, and witness the entire process of honey production right from its collection to the final processing!